Is a grassland community composed of coexisting species with low and high spatial mobility?
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Patterns of grasslands species mobility were compared between communities and within plant species. Data from high spatial resolution permanent plots with fine scale recording system, experiment with removal of the dominant recorded also at a fine scale were used. The permanent plots showed large variation within a community in the patterns of species mobility. The species mobility was partly dependent on the site and was higher in a more nutrient rich and climatically more favourable community. Mobility also varied within species. In some species (Nardus stricta, Anthoxanthum spp.) it differed between communities (it was higher in more nutrient rich and climatically more favourable community) and did not respond to removal of the dominant species. In another species,Festuca rubra, mobility also differed between plots; in contrast, it did not show consistent variation attributable to community type and showed strongly increased spatial persistence in plots with the dominant species removed. In this species the mobility seems to be dependent on the competitive pressure of the coexisting species.
KeywordsPermanent plots Plant competition Removal experiment Spatial dynamics Species richness
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