, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 163–178 | Cite as

Ten years of vegetation dynamics in two rivulets in Lower Saxony (FRG)

  • Gerhard Wiegleb
  • Wolfgang Herr
  • Dieter Todeskino


The vegetation dynamics in six permanent plots in two lowland rivulets of the Federal Republic of Germany are analyzed. The year-to-year change in species cover is displayed by means of tables. In each site there are core species (both hydrophytes and helophytes) which have been able to successfully reproduce within the sampling plots over the total observation period. There are also transient hydrophytes which regularly become washed in from the upper course, and transient helophytes growing permanently into the river from the banks.

A numerical analysis of the performance of the 12 most frequent and abundant hydrophytes in relation to various independent variables was carried out using canonical correspondence analysis. There is no directional temporal variation within the vegetation data set. The hydrochemical variables were almost constant within the observation period. Rainfall in summer has some influence via discharge and turbidity. Most of the variance in the data set is explained by the position of the sites along the rivers. Most of the residual variance can be explained by a binary disturbance variable. The processes observed can mostly be explained from life history characteristics of the dominant species, particularySparganium emersum, Ranunculus peltatus andPotamogeton natans. The spatial scale of the study site was relatively adequate. A smaller size would have produced noisy data (suggesting erratic change), while a greater size would have produced no change at all. The adequate temporal scale for observation is the comparison of the yearly maxima because of the seasonality of most of the species. An exact prediction of dominance and species composition of the following year is impossible.

Key words

Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) Extinction Fluctuation Invasion Replacement River vegetation Spatial scale Stability Succession Temporal scale 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Wiegleb
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Herr
    • 2
  • Dieter Todeskino
    • 2
  1. 1.Fachbereich 7 BiologieUniversität OldenburgOldenburgFRG
  2. 2.Institut für Angewandte Botanik und Landschaftsökologie (IBL)OldenburgFRG

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