Community Ecology

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 213–220 | Cite as

Impacts of introduced dwarf pine (Pinus mugo) on the diversity and composition of alpine vegetation

  • M. ZeidlerEmail author
  • M. Duchoslav
  • M. Banaš
  • M. Lešková


Dwarf pine (Pinus mugo) is a successful pioneer tree, but also an invader of the subalpine belt in Central-European mountains. In the Hrubý Jeseník Mts. (Czech Republic), dwarf pine was introduced at the end of the 19th century by humans into alpine communities. To analyse the influence of non-native woody species on species diversity, vegetation composition and the ecological bioindication of invaded alpine communities, three habitats (non-invaded alpine grasslands, gaps of alpine grasslands within dwarf pine stands and closed dwarf pine stands) were compared at two localities (Keprník, Tabulové kameny) using the space-for-time substitution approach. Plant species composition was assessed by means of phytosociological relevés, and bioindication by means of Ellenberg indicator values. At both localities, both beta and gamma diversity were lower, and species composition more uniform in dwarf pine plantations in contrast to the gaps within and alpine grasslands outside of dwarf pine stands. At Keprník, alpha diversity was lower in the dwarf-pine plantation than outside of it, while at Tabulové kameny no significant differences were found. This is probably due to the somewhat different spatial structure of the dwarf pine stands and the different timing of dwarf pine introduction at these localities. Bioindication showed that dwarf-pine stands were drier, more shaded and had a higher soil fertility than alpine grasslands. Dwarf pine colonisation of alpine grasslands causes the extinction of many endangered plant species, complicating conservation goals. Because of the limited size of alpine areas, changes caused by dwarf pine in medium-high mountains might be more significant than in mountains with large alpine forest-free areas.


Bioindication Czech Republic Hrubý Jeseník Mts Plantation Shrub invasion Treeline 


For vascular taxa Kubát et al. (2002) for mosses Hill et al. (2006) for lichens Neuhäuslová and Kolbek (1982) 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blazkova, D. and S. Bfezina. 2003. Secondary succession in abandoned “poloniny” meadows, Bukovske vrchy Mts., Eastern Carpathians, Slovakia. Thaiszia 13: 159–207.Google Scholar
  2. Choler, P., R. Michalet and R.M. Callaway. 2001. Facilitation and competition on gradients in alpine plant communities. Ecology 82: 3295–3308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chytry, M., L. Tichy, 1. Holt and Z. Botta-Dukat. 2002. Determination of diagnostic species with statistical fidelity measures. J. Veg.Sci. 13:79–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dullinger, S., T. Dirnbock, and G. Grabherr. 2003. Patterns of shrub invasion into high mountain grasslands of the Northern Calcareous Alps (Austria). Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res. 35: 434–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Elias, V., M. Tesaf and J. Buchtele. 1995. Occult precipitation: sampling, chemical analysis and process modelling in the Su-mava Mts. (Czech Republic) and in the Taunus Mts. (Germany)../. Hydrol. 166: 409–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ellenberg, H., R. Mayer and J. Schauermann. 1986. Okosystemfor-schung. Ergebnisse des Sollingprojekts 1966-1986. Ulmer, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  7. Ellenberg, H. 1988. Vegetation Ecology of Central Europe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  8. Ellenberg, H., H.E. Weber, R. Dull, V. Wirth, W. Werner and D. Paulissen. 1992. Zeigerwerte von Pflanzen in Mitteleuropa. Scripta Geobotanica 18: 1–260.Google Scholar
  9. Fabiszewski, J. and T. Brej. 2000. Contemporary habitat and floris-tic changes in the Sudeten Mts. Acta Soc. Bot. Pol. 69: 215–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grashof-Bokdam, C.J., and W. Geertsema. 1998. The effect of isolation and history on colonization patterns of plant species in secondary woodland. J. Biogeogr. 25: 837–846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hill, M.O., N. Bell, M.A. Bruggeman-Nannenga, M. Brugues, M.J. Cano, I. Enroth, K.I. Flatberg, J.P. Frahm, M.T. Gallego, R. Garilleti, I. Guerra, L. Hedenas, D.T. Holyoak, J. Hyvonen, M.S. Ignatov, F. Lara, V. Mazimpaka, I. Muhoz and L. Soder-strom. 2006. An annotated checklist of the mosses of Europe and Macaronesia. J. Bryol. 28: 198–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hośek, E. 1964. Zalesńovaní horských holi na Kralickem Snéžm’ku a Keprniku kolem r. 1900 [Forestation of mountain grasslands of Kralicky Sneznik and Keprnik in the period near 1900]. Cas. Slez. Muz. (C) 3: 65–73.Google Scholar
  13. Janisova, M., R. Hrivnak, D. Gomory., K. Ujhazy, M. Valachovic, E. Gomoryova, K. Hegedusova and I. Skodova. 2007. Changes in understorey vegetation after Norway spruce colonization of an abandoned grassland. Ann. Bot. Fenn. 44: 256–266.Google Scholar
  14. Jenik, J. 1961. Alpinskd vegetace Krkonos, Hrubeho Jeseniku a Krdlickeho Snezniku. [Alpine vegetation of the Krkonose Mts., Kralicky Sneznik and Hruby Jesenik Mts. Theory of anemo-orographical ecosystems]. Nakladatelsvi CSAV, Praha.Google Scholar
  15. Jenik, J. 1998. Biodiversity of the Hercynian mountains of Central Europe. Pirineos 151-152: 83–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jenik, J. and R. Hampel. 1992. Die waldfreien Kammlagen des Altvatergebirges (Geschichte und Okologie). MSSGV, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  17. Jenik, J., L. Bures and Z. Buresova. 1980. A syntaxonomic study of the vegetation in the Velka Kotlina cirque, Sudeten mountains. Folia Geobot. Phytotaxon. 15: 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jenik, J., L. Bures and Z. Buresova. 1983a. A revised flora of the Velka Kotlina cirque, Sudeten mountains: part 1. Preslia 55: 25–61.Google Scholar
  19. Jenik, J., L. Bures and Z. Buresova. 1983b. A revised flora of the Velka Kotlina cirque, Sudeten mountains: part 2. Preslia 55: 123–141.Google Scholar
  20. Jirasek, J. 1996a. Spolecenstva kosodfeviny (Pinus mugo) v Ceske republice [Plant communities of Pinus mugo in the Czech Republic]. Preslia 68: 1–12.Google Scholar
  21. Jirasek, J. 1996b. Spolecenstva pfirozenych smrcin Ceske repub-liky [Communities of natural spruce forests in the Czech Republic]. Preslia 67: 225–259.Google Scholar
  22. Kavalcova, V. and K. Kavalec. 2003. Chranena uzemi CHKO Je-sem’ky [Protected Areas of PLA Jesem’ky]. In: J. Safaf (ed.), Chranena uzemi CR - Olomoucko IV [Protected areas of the Czech Republic IV - Region of Olomouc]. AOPK CR a Eko-Centrum Brno, Praha. pp. 290–348.Google Scholar
  23. Kent, M. and P. Coker. 1992. Vegetation Description and Analysis -A Practical Approach. Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Klimes, L. and J. Klimesova. 1991. Alpine tundra in the Hruby Je-senik Mts., the Sudeten, and its tentative development in the 20th century. Preslia 63: 245–268.Google Scholar
  25. Koci, M. 2007a. Acidofilni alpinske travniky [Alpine grasslands on base-poor soils]. In: M. Chytry (ed.), Vegetace Ceske republiky 1. Travinnd a keficková vegetace [Vegetation of the Czech Republic I. Grassland and Heathland Vegetation]. Academia, Praha. pp. 76–83.Google Scholar
  26. Koci, M. 2007b. Subalpinska vysokobylinna a kfovinna vegetace [Subalpine tall-forb and deciduous-shrub vegetation]. In: M. Chytry (ed.), Vegetace Ceske republiky. I, Travinnd a kerickova vegetace [Vegetation of the Czech Republic I. Grassland and Heathland Vegetation]. Academia, Praha. pp. 91–131.Google Scholar
  27. Koleff, P., K.J. Gaston and J.J. Lennon. 2003. Measuring beta diversity for presence-absence data. J. Anim. Ecol. 72: 367–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kubat, K., L. Hrouda, J. jun Chrtek, Z. Kaplan, J. Kirschner and J. Stepanek. 2002. Klíé ke kvetene Ceske republiky [Key to the flora of the Czech Republic]. Academia, Praha.Google Scholar
  29. Lednicky, V. 1985. Climate of Praděd. Severni Morava 49: 44–48.Google Scholar
  30. Leps, J. and P. Smilauer. 2003. Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data Using CANOCO. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. MacArthur, R. H. and E.O. Wilson. 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  32. Malkova, J., K. Matejka, M. Krtickova and M. Zikmund. 2001. Vegetation dynamics in dwarf pine ecosystems in the Western Giant Mts. Opera Corcontica 38: 123–148.Google Scholar
  33. Neuhauslová, Z. and J. Kolbek. 1982. A List of Higher Plants. Bryophytes and Lichens of Central Europe Used in the Bank of Geobotanical Data in the Botanical Institute of Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Botanical Institute, Pruhonice.Google Scholar
  34. Pavlu, V., M. Hejcman, L. Pavlů, J. Gaisler, P. Nežerková and M.G. Andaluz. 2005. Vegetation changes after cessation of grazing management in the Jizerské Mountains (Czech Republic). Ann. Bot. Fenn. 42: 343–349.Google Scholar
  35. Pickett, S.T.A. 1989. Space-for-time substitution as an alternative to long-term studies. In: Likens, G.E. (ed.). Long-term Studies in Ecology: Approaches and Alternatives. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 110–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Prochazka, F. 2001. Cerny a cerveny seznam cevnatých rostlin Ćeské republiky (stav v roce 2000) [Black and red list of vascular plant species of the Czech Republic]. Pŕíoda 18: 1–166.Google Scholar
  37. Richardson, D.M. and P.W. Rundel. 1998. Ecology and biogeography of Pinus: an introduction. In: D. M. Richardson (ed.), Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 3–48.Google Scholar
  38. Rybnicek, K. and E. Rybnickova. 2004. Pollen analyses of sediments from the summit of the Praded range in the Hruby Je-senik Mts (Eastern Sudetes). Preslia 76: 331–347.Google Scholar
  39. Sádlo, J., M. Chytrý and P. Pyśek. 2007. Regional species pools of vascular plants in habitats of the Czech Republic. Preslia 79: 303–321.Google Scholar
  40. Siemann, E. and W.E. Rogers. 2003. Changes in light and nitrogen availability under pioneer trees may indirectly facilitate tree invasions of grasslands. J. Ecol. 91: 923–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Skalicky, V. 1988. Pinus mugo Turra. In: S. Hejny and B. Slavik (eds.), Kvetena Ceske socialisticke republiky I [Flora of the Czech Socialist Republic I]. Academia, Praha. pp. 294–296.Google Scholar
  42. Soukupová, L., M. Kocíánová, J. Jenik and J. Sekyra. 1995. Arctic-alpine tundra in the Krkonose, the Sudetes. Opera Corcontica 32: 5–88.Google Scholar
  43. Soukupová, L., J. Jenik and T. Frantik. 2001a. Edge effect of krummholz in Giant Mts. tundra, the Sudetes. Opera Corcontica 38: 77–87.Google Scholar
  44. Soukupová, L., T. Frantik and J. Jenik. 2001b. Grasslands versus krummholz in arctic-alpine tundra of the Giant Mountains. Opera Corcontica 38: 63–76.Google Scholar
  45. Svoboda, M. 2001. The effects of Pinus mugo (Turra) plantations on alpine tundra microclimate, vegetation distribution, and soils in Krkonośe national park, Czech Republic. Opera Corcontica 38: 189–206.Google Scholar
  46. Senfeldr, M. 2008. Inventarizace borovice kleće v NPR Praded [Inventory of Pinus mugo in national nature reserve Praded]. Les-nickd Prάce 87: 37–39.Google Scholar
  47. Spinlerova, Z. and M. Martinková. 2006. Growth of mountain pine (Pinus mugo Turra) in relation to the use of other tree species. J. For. Sci. 52:217–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Śtursa, J. 1966. Pinus mugo subsp. pumilio (Haenke) ve vychod-nich Krkonosich [Pinus mugo subsp. pumilio (Haenke) in eastern part of Giant Mts]. Opera Corcontica 3: 31–76.Google Scholar
  49. ter Braak, C..I.F. and P. Smilauer. 2002. CANOCO Reference Manual and CanoDraw for Windows User’s Guide: Software for Canonical Community Ordination (version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, Ithaca.Google Scholar
  50. Tichý, L. 2002. JUICE, software for vegetation classification. J. Veg.Sci. 13:451–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Treml, V. and M. Banaś. 2008. The effect of exposure on alpine treeline position: a case study from the High Sudetes, Czech Republic. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res. 40: 751–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Treml, V. and M. Křížek. 2006. Effects of dwarf pine (Pinus mugo) on patterned ground in the Czech part of the High Sudetes. Opera Corcontica 43: 45–56.Google Scholar
  53. Treml, V., M. Křížek and Z. Engel. 2010a. Classification of patterned ground based on morphometry and site characteristics: a case study from the High Sudetes, Central Europe. Permafrost Periglac. 21:67–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Treml V., Wild J., Chuman T., Potuckova M. 2010b. Assessing the change in cover of non-indigenous dwarf-pine using aerial photographs, a case study from the Hruby Jesenik Mts., the Sudetes. J. Landscape Ecol. 4: 90–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. van der Maarel, E. 1993. Relations between sociological-ecological species groups and Ellenberg indicator values. Phytocoenolo-gia 23: 343–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wagnerova, Z. 2001a. Vegetation cover of naturally disperse dwarf pine polycormons in the Western Giant Mts. Opera Corcon-tica 38: 171–180.Google Scholar
  57. Wagnerová, Z. 2001b. Influence of the dwarf pine plantations (of the age 20, 40, 60 and 90 years) on the vegetation cover. Opera Corcontica 38: 163–170.Google Scholar
  58. Wild, J. and R. Wildova. 2002. Interactions between dwarf pine shrubs and grassland vegetation under different management. Opera Corcontica 39: 17–33.Google Scholar
  59. Zeidler, M., M. Banaš and M. Zenata. 2009. Ecological conditions and the distribution of alpine juniper (Juniperus communis subsp. alpina) in the Hrubý Jeseník Mts. Biologia 64: 687–693.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2012

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, 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

  • M. Zeidler
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Duchoslav
    • 2
  • M. Banaš
    • 1
  • M. Lešková
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of SciencePalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic
  2. 2.Plant Biosystematics and Ecology RG, Department of Botany, Faculty of SciencePalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations