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Grazing impact on plant spatial distribution and community composition

(2011) PLANT ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION. 144(1). p.19-28
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Abstract
Background and aims Re-introduction of large grazers in the few remaining natural and semi-natural grasslands are thought to be an effective management tool to prevent dominance of late successional plant species and restoration of plant biodiversity. The main objective of this study was to test whether the introduction of large herbivores retard the succession by reducing the abundance of highly competitive tall species and whether it is accompanied with changes in plant community composition and spatial distribution of plant species. Methods In order to test this hypothesis, we studied the effect of grazing by large herbivores on vegetation at three hierarchical levels: individual plant species, emergent groups of functionally similar herbaceous plant species, and the main gradients of plant community composition. Study sites were thirteen spatially separated, dry coastal dune grasslands in western Belgium and north-western France. Key results Grazing had a predominantly negative effect on high competitive dominant species and led to changes in composition of emergent groups toward less competitive plant species. Additionally, these changes in plant community composition were accompanied with changes in spatial distribution patterns of individual plant species and community richness. Conclusions Our results suggest that the current grazing management applied in these nature reserves is able to prevent the expansion of dominant highly competitive species and establishment of functionally different plant species.
Keywords
alpha diversity, self similarity, box-counting fractal dimension, gamma diversity, emergent groups, species turnover, FUNCTIONAL TRAITS, SPECIES-DIVERSITY, SCALE DEPENDENCE, RAIN-FOREST, GRASSLAND, ABUNDANCE, TURNOVER, FACILITATION, PERFORMANCE, DISTURBANCE

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Chicago
Tahmasebi Kohyani, Pejman, Beatrijs Bossuyt, Dries Bonte, and Maurice Hoffmann. 2011. “Grazing Impact on Plant Spatial Distribution and Community Composition.” Plant Ecology and Evolution 144 (1): 19–28.
APA
Tahmasebi Kohyani, P., Bossuyt, B., Bonte, D., & Hoffmann, M. (2011). Grazing impact on plant spatial distribution and community composition. PLANT ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 144(1), 19–28.
Vancouver
1.
Tahmasebi Kohyani P, Bossuyt B, Bonte D, Hoffmann M. Grazing impact on plant spatial distribution and community composition. PLANT ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION. 2011;144(1):19–28.
MLA
Tahmasebi Kohyani, Pejman, Beatrijs Bossuyt, Dries Bonte, et al. “Grazing Impact on Plant Spatial Distribution and Community Composition.” PLANT ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION 144.1 (2011): 19–28. Print.
@article{1989426,
  abstract     = {Background and aims Re-introduction of large grazers in the few remaining natural and semi-natural grasslands are thought to be an effective management tool to prevent dominance of late successional plant species and restoration of plant biodiversity. The main objective of this study was to test whether the introduction of large herbivores retard the succession by reducing the abundance of highly competitive tall species and whether it is accompanied with changes in plant community composition and spatial distribution of plant species. 
Methods In order to test this hypothesis, we studied the effect of grazing by large herbivores on vegetation at three hierarchical levels: individual plant species, emergent groups of functionally similar herbaceous plant species, and the main gradients of plant community composition. Study sites were thirteen spatially separated, dry coastal dune grasslands in western Belgium and north-western France. 
Key results Grazing had a predominantly negative effect on high competitive dominant species and led to changes in composition of emergent groups toward less competitive plant species. Additionally, these changes in plant community composition were accompanied with changes in spatial distribution patterns of individual plant species and community richness. 
Conclusions Our results suggest that the current grazing management applied in these nature reserves is able to prevent the expansion of dominant highly competitive species and establishment of functionally different plant species.},
  author       = {Tahmasebi Kohyani, Pejman and Bossuyt, Beatrijs and Bonte, Dries and Hoffmann, Maurice},
  issn         = {2032-3913},
  journal      = {PLANT ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION},
  keyword      = {alpha diversity,self similarity,box-counting fractal dimension,gamma diversity,emergent groups,species turnover,FUNCTIONAL TRAITS,SPECIES-DIVERSITY,SCALE DEPENDENCE,RAIN-FOREST,GRASSLAND,ABUNDANCE,TURNOVER,FACILITATION,PERFORMANCE,DISTURBANCE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {19--28},
  title        = {Grazing impact on plant spatial distribution and community composition},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5091/plecevo.2011.429},
  volume       = {144},
  year         = {2011},
}

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