Plant Ecology

, 205:47

Clustering of plant life strategies on meso-scale


DOI: 10.1007/s11258-009-9597-0

Cite this article as:
Massant, W., Godefroid, S. & Koedam, N. Plant Ecol (2009) 205: 47. doi:10.1007/s11258-009-9597-0


The spatial pattern of life strategies gives us clues about what factors are important for structuring the vegetation and at which scale they work. In this study, we look at the spatial distribution of the CSR-strategies of Grime on a meso-scale (larger than 50 m × 50 m) in a temperate forest. To detect the spatial pattern of the different life forms, 79 plant species were surveyed according to a grid with 2431 cells of 50 m × 50 m. For each cell C, S and R-values were calculated and their spatial distribution was studied. The spatial patterns were then explained by available environmental factors. The different plant strategies clearly showed an aggregated pattern on a scale larger than 50 m × 50 m. This non-random and unequal distribution of the different life strategies could be explained by the factors that are under the control of the forest management, namely “distance to road” and “dominant (planted) tree species”. Patches with high C-values (C-biotopes) where found under pine, S-biotopes where found under mixed oak-beech and pure beech stands of 100 to 150 years old. R-biotopes were bound to the roads.


BelgiumForest managementForest roadsPlant life strategySpatial patternStand type

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Biology and Nature Management (APNA)Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.National Botanic Garden of BelgiumDomein van BouchoutMeiseBelgium