Advertisement

Seasonal dependent effects of flooding on plant species survival and zonation: a comparative study of 10 terrestrial grassland species

  • W. H. J. M. van Eck
  • J. P. M. Lenssen
  • H. M. van de Steeg
  • C. W. P. M. Blom
  • H. de Kroon
Chapter
  • 852 Downloads
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 187)

Abstract

Past research has provided compelling evidence that variation in flooding duration is the predominant factor underlying plant species distribution along elevation gradients in river floodplains. The role of seasonal variation in flooding, however, is far from clear. We addressed this seasonal effect for 10 grassland species by testing the hypothesis that all species can survive longer when flooded in winter than when flooded in summer. We carried out an inundation experiment under simulated conditions of summer and winter flooding in the greenhouse. The results showed that all species survived longer under winter floods than under summer floods. However, responses upon flooding were species-specific. All summer floodtolerant species had high tolerance for winter floods as well, but summer flood sensitive species survived either a little longer, or dramatically longer when flooded under simulated winter conditions. Next, we examined whether winter or summer survival best predicted the lower distribution limits of the species as measured in a natural flooding gradient after an extremely long winter flood. We found a strong significant relationship between the lower distribution limits of species in the field and their tolerance to summer floods, although we measured the lower limits 14 years after the latest major summer flood. In contrast, no such significant relationship existed with species tolerance to winter floods. Some relatively intolerant species occurred at much higher floodplain elevations as was expected from their tolerance to winter inundation in the experiments. This suggests that zonation patterns as created by occasional summer floods may be maintained for a long time, probably due to the limited ability of species to re-colonise lower positions in the floodplain.

Key words

floodplain plants riparian grassland river Rhine season species distribution summer flood winter flood 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Breen, C. M., K. H. Rogers & P. J. Ashton, 1988. Vegetation processes in swamps and flooded plains. In Symoens, J. J. (ed.), Vegetation of Inland Waters Handbook of Vegetation Science 15/1. Kluwer Acadamic Publishers, Dordrecht: 223–247.Google Scholar
  2. Burke, M. J. W. & J. P. Grime, 1996. An experimental study of plant community invisibility. Ecology 77: 776–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carter, M. F. & J. B. Grace, 1990. Relationships between flooding tolerance, life history, and short-term competitive performance in three species of Polygonum. American Journal of Botany 77: 381–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Collins, S. L., S. M. Glenn & D. J. Gibson, 1995. Experimental analysis of intermediate disturbance and initial floristic composition: decoupling cause and effect. Ecology 76: 486–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crawford, R. M. M., 2003. Seasonal difference in plant responses to flooding and anoxia. Canadian Journal of Botany 81: 1224–1246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crawford, R. M. M., C. E. Jeffree & W. G. Rees, 2003. Paludification and forest retreat in northern oceanic environments. Annals of Botany 91: 213–226.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Day, R. T., P. A. Keddy, J. McNeil & T. Carleton, 1988. Fertility and disturbance gradients: a summary model for riverine marsh vegetation. Ecology 69: 1044–1054.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. He, J. B., G. M. Bögemann, H. M. van de Steeg, J. H. G. M. Rijnders, L. A. C. J. Voesenek & C. W. P. M. Blom, 1999. Survival tactics of Ranunculus species in river floodplains. Oecologia 118: 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Henry, C. P., C. Amoros & G. Bornette, 1996. Species traits and recolonization processes after flood disturbances in riverine macrophytes. Vegetatio 122: 13–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Johnson, C. M., P. R. Stout, T. C. Broyer & A. B. Carlton, 1957. Comparative chlorine requirements of different plants species. Plant and Soil 8: 337–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Klimesová, J., 1994. The effects of timing and duration of floods on growth of young plants of Phalaris arundinacea L. and Urtica dioica L: an experimental study. Aquatic Botany 48: 21–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Laan, P. & C. W. P. M. Blom, 1990. Growth and survival responses of Rumex species to flooding and submerged conditions: the importance of shoot elongation, underwater photosynthesis and reserve carbohydrates. Journal of Experimental Botany 41: 775–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lenssen, J. P. M. & H. de Kroon, 2005. Abiotic constraints at the upper boundaries of two Rumex species on a freshwater flooding gradient. Journal of Ecology 93: 138–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McCullagh, P. & J. A. Nelder, 1991. Generalized Linear Models. Chapman & Hall, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Mommer, L., H. de Kroon, R. Pierik, G.M. Bögemann & E. J.W. Visser, 2005.Afunctional comparison of acclimation to shade and submergence in two terrestrial plant species. New Phytologist 167: 197–206.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nabben, R. H. M., 2001. Metabolic adaptations to floodinginduced oxygen deficiency and post-anoxia stress in Rumex species. PhD Thesis, University of Nijmegen.Google Scholar
  17. Nilsson, C., M. Gardfjell & G. Grelsson, 1991. Importance of hydrochory in structuring plant communities along rivers. Canadian Journal of Botany 69: 2631–2633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pedersen, O., J. Borum, C. M. Duarte & M. D. Fortes, 1998. Oxygen dynamics in the rhizosphere of Cymodocea rotundata. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 169: 283–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sand-Jensen, K. & H. Frost-Christensen, 1999. Plant growth and photosynthesis in the transition zone between land and stream. Aquatic Botany 63: 23–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. SAS Institute, 2001. SAS Version 8.2. SAS Institute, Cary, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  21. Setter, T. L., M. Ellis, E. V. Laureles, E. S. Ella, D. Senadhira, S. B. Mishra, S. Sarkarung & S. Datta, 1997. Physiology and genetics of submergence tolerance in rice. Annals of Botany 79: 67–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Siebel, H. N., 1998. Floodplain forest restoration. Tree seedling establishment and tall herb interference in relation to flooding and shading. PhD Thesis, University of Nijmegen.Google Scholar
  23. Squires, L. & A. G. van der Valk, 1992. Water-depth tolerances of the dominant emergent macrophytes of the Delta Marsh, Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Botany 70: 1860–1867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Studer-Ehrensberger, K., C. Studer & R. M. M. Crawford, 1993. Competition at community boundaries: mechanisms of vegetation structure in a dune-slack complex. Functional Ecology 7: 156–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sykora, K. V., E. Scheper & F. van der Zee, 1988. Inundation and the distribution of plant communities on Dutch river dikes. Acta Botanica Neerlandica 37: 279–290.Google Scholar
  26. Van der Sman, A. J. M., N. Joosten & C. W. P. M. Blom, 1993. Flooding regimes and life history characteristics of shortlived species in river forelands. Journal of Ecology 81: 121–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Van Eck, W. H. J. M., J. P. M. Lenssen, R. H. J. Rengelink, C. W. P. M. Blom & H. de Kroon, 2005a. Water temperature instead of acclimation stage and oxygen concentration determines responses to winter floods. Aquatic Botany 81: 253–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Van Eck, W. H. J. M., H. M. van de Steeg, C. W. P. M. Blom & H. de Kroon, 2004. Is tolerance to summer flooding correlated with distribution patterns in river floodplains? A comparative study of 20 terrestrial grassland species. Oikos 107: 393–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Van Eck, W. H. J. M., H. M. van de Steeg, C. W. P. M. Blom & H. de Kroon, 2005b. Recruitment limitation along disturbance gradients in river floodplains. Journal of Vegetation Science 16: 103–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vervuren, P. J. A., S. M. J. H. Beurskens & C. W. P. M. Blom, 1999. Light acclimation, CO2 response and longterm capacity of underwater photosynthesis in three terrestrial plant species. Plant, Cell and Environment 22: 959–968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vervuren, P. J. A., C. W. P. M. Blom & H. de Kroon, 2003. Extreme flooding events on the Rhine and the survival and distribution of riparian plant species. Journal of Ecology 91: 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer2006 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. H. J. M. van Eck
    • 1
  • J. P. M. Lenssen
    • 1
  • H. M. van de Steeg
    • 1
  • C. W. P. M. Blom
    • 1
  • H. de Kroon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Plant Ecology, Institute for Wetland and Water ResearchRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations