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The importance of artefacts of ancient land use on plant communities in Meerdaal forest, Belgium

Jan Plue, Steve Meuris, Kris Verheyen UGent and Martin Hermy UGent (2009) BELGIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY. 142(1). p.3-18
abstract
On a landscape level, former land use is a structuring element of plant communities of recent and ancient forest patches. However, ancient land use has been recently identified to affect plant communities within ancient forests. An ancient holloway, i.e., a U-shaped sunken road, embedded in the Meerdaal forest was used to establish whether microtopographical changes brought about by the former road use would structure the forest vegetation and seed bank. Seven transects were set out perpendicular to the holloway over a one kilometer stretch, to test whether the sunken road would locally shape the patterns in abiotic conditions, vegetation and seed bank. Soil pH was significantly higher within the holloway, which was reflected in a higher plant cover, ancient forest and overall species richness. Vegetation composition was altered by the road microtopography, though secondary to a prevailing fertility gradient with distance along the holloway. While seed bank characteristics did not differ between road and non-road plots, seed bank composition did vary according to the microtopography. However, the extant vegetation caused the observed seed bank pattern. The holloway shapes understory community patterns in vegetation and seed bank. As the sunken road cuts into deeper calcareous soil layers at the bottom of the road, this gave way to differential acidification (different buffer ranges) in function of the microtopography, allowing the persistence of favorable growth conditions within the holloway. Hence, these conditions allow the survival of ancient forest species within the road in a forest matrix made increasingly unsuitable through severe acidification.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
ancient land use, Acidification, holloway, microtopography, seed bank, vegetation, WITH-STANDARDS FOREST, SEED-BANK, SOIL ACIDIFICATION, GROUND FLORA, VEGETATION, BIODIVERSITY, AGRICULTURE, CONVERSION, LANDSCAPE, ABUNDANCE
journal title
BELGIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY
Belgian J. Bot.
volume
142
issue
1
pages
3 - 18
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000270257000001
JCR category
PLANT SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
0.556 (2009)
JCR rank
135/172 (2009)
JCR quartile
4 (2009)
ISSN
0778-4031
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
id
851658
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-851658
date created
2010-02-04 13:58:48
date last changed
2010-02-10 17:47:07
@article{851658,
  abstract     = {On a landscape level, former land use is a structuring element of plant communities of recent and ancient forest patches. However, ancient land use has been recently identified to affect plant communities within ancient forests. An ancient holloway, i.e., a U-shaped sunken road, embedded in the Meerdaal forest was used to establish whether microtopographical changes brought about by the former road use would structure the forest vegetation and seed bank. Seven transects were set out perpendicular to the holloway over a one kilometer stretch, to test whether the sunken road would locally shape the patterns in abiotic conditions, vegetation and seed bank. Soil pH was significantly higher within the holloway, which was reflected in a higher plant cover, ancient forest and overall species richness. Vegetation composition was altered by the road microtopography, though secondary to a prevailing fertility gradient with distance along the holloway. While seed bank characteristics did not differ between road and non-road plots, seed bank composition did vary according to the microtopography. However, the extant vegetation caused the observed seed bank pattern. The holloway shapes understory community patterns in vegetation and seed bank. As the sunken road cuts into deeper calcareous soil layers at the bottom of the road, this gave way to differential acidification (different buffer ranges) in function of the microtopography, allowing the persistence of favorable growth conditions within the holloway. Hence, these conditions allow the survival of ancient forest species within the road in a forest matrix made increasingly unsuitable through severe acidification.},
  author       = {Plue, Jan and Meuris, Steve and Verheyen, Kris and Hermy, Martin},
  issn         = {0778-4031},
  journal      = {BELGIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY},
  keyword      = {ancient land use,Acidification,holloway,microtopography,seed bank,vegetation,WITH-STANDARDS FOREST,SEED-BANK,SOIL ACIDIFICATION,GROUND FLORA,VEGETATION,BIODIVERSITY,AGRICULTURE,CONVERSION,LANDSCAPE,ABUNDANCE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {3--18},
  title        = {The importance of artefacts of ancient land use on plant communities in Meerdaal forest, Belgium},
  volume       = {142},
  year         = {2009},
}

Chicago
Plue, Jan, Steve Meuris, Kris Verheyen, and Martin Hermy. 2009. “The Importance of Artefacts of Ancient Land Use on Plant Communities in Meerdaal Forest, Belgium.” Belgian Journal of Botany 142 (1): 3–18.
APA
Plue, J., Meuris, S., Verheyen, K., & Hermy, M. (2009). The importance of artefacts of ancient land use on plant communities in Meerdaal forest, Belgium. BELGIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY, 142(1), 3–18.
Vancouver
1.
Plue J, Meuris S, Verheyen K, Hermy M. The importance of artefacts of ancient land use on plant communities in Meerdaal forest, Belgium. BELGIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY. 2009;142(1):3–18.
MLA
Plue, Jan, Steve Meuris, Kris Verheyen, et al. “The Importance of Artefacts of Ancient Land Use on Plant Communities in Meerdaal Forest, Belgium.” BELGIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY 142.1 (2009): 3–18. Print.