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Community Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 149–156 | Cite as

Relationship between litter produced by Calamagrostis epigejos and seedling recruitment of mesic meadow species in mountain conditions

  • D. PruchniewiczEmail author
  • L. Żołnierz
Article

Abstract

Calamagrostis epigejos produces a large amount of litter in patches dominated by this expansive species in degraded meadows. Two studies were carried out in the area of the Central Sudetes Mountains (SW Poland). The goals of these surveys were to address the following questions: How do active manipulations regarding the removal of necromass and C. epigejos tillers, as well as seeding of additional species, influence the meadow species seedling recruitment? How is the organic matter decomposed in the consecutive stages of mountain grassland degradation caused by C. epigejos expansion? How do environmental factors influence litter decomposition? The results of the research showed a significant influence of C. epigejos necromass on the recruitment of mesic meadow species. The influence is connected with the emergence of a mechanical barrier to seedlings, which impedes their sprouting. No relation was found between the degradation stage and the rate of necromass decomposition. The study showed the influence of some environmental factors on the rate of necromass decomposition – in the case of C. epigejos there was a negative impact of exchangeable magnesium forms, whereas in the case of mixed meadow plant litter there was a positive effect of nitrogen and C:N ratio, and negative correlations with Ellenberg’s light and soil humidity indices.

Keywords

Arrhenatheretalia order Decomposition process Degradation of vegetation Environmental factors Expansive species 

Abbreviations

DCA

Detrended Correspondence Analysis

NMDS

Non-Metric multidimensional analysis

PCA

Principal Components Analysis

r

Pearson correlation coefficient

RDA

Redundancy analysis

Rs

Spearman correlation coefficient

SD

Standard Deviation

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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2017

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany and Plant EcologyWrocław University of Environmental and Life SciencesWrocławPoland

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