Advertisement

Plant Ecology

, Volume 195, Issue 2, pp 225–234 | Cite as

Exploring the influence of shrubs on herbaceous communities in a Mediterranean climatic context of two spatial scales

  • Jaime MadrigalEmail author
  • Jose Antonio García-Rodriguez
  • Roberto Julian
  • Angel Puerto
  • Belen Fernández-Santos
Article

Abstract

Communities of plants determine nonrandom spatial patterns defined by the intervention of abiotic and biotic factors acting at different spatial scales. We consider the influence of shrubs as one of the most important factors (biotic) affecting these spatial patterns at microscale. The macroclimate could be considered one of the most important factors (abiotic) at regional scale. To study the role and the floristic implications of each factor on the global patterns of herbaceous communities, we have developed a stratified sampling design that integrates both micro and macroscale on a 100 Km-long transect (east–west) in western central Spain. The results suggest that macroclimate could be one of the most important factors in determining herbaceous spatial patterns. Moreover, shrubs create a microspatial environmental heterogeneity that could alter such global climate patterns, modifying the spatial affinities established among species. This implies that environmental heterogeneity related to microhabitat could play a key role in spatial patterns at broad spatial scales, and consequently in the dynamics of the distribution and establishment of herbaceous species.

Keywords

Herbaceous species Macroclimate Microhabitat Shrub influence Spatial patterns CCA 

References

  1. Anta-Ferrero MA, Fernández-Joaquin JL, Fernández-Santos B, Maestre-García JM, Manzano-Pablos JJ, Martín-Jiménez JI, Rodríguez-López AI, Ruiz- Cortina C, Gómez-Gutiérrez JM, García-Rodriguez JA, Pol-Méndez C, Llorente-Pinto JM (1988) Análisis del medio físico de la provincia de Salamanca. Delimitación de unidades y estructura territorial. Junta de Castilla y León (EPYPSA), ValladolidGoogle Scholar
  2. Barboni D, Harrison SP, Bartlein PJ, Jalut G, New M, Prentice IC, Sanchez-Goñi MF, Spessa A, Davis B, Stevenson AC (2004) Relationships between plant traits and climate in the Mediterranean region: a pollen data analysis. J Veg Sci 15:635–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bazzaz FA (1996) Plants in changing environments: linking physiological, population and community ecology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  4. Bengtsson J, Engelhardt K, Giller P, Hobbie S, Laurence D, Levine J, Vilà M, Wolters V (2002) Slippin’ and Slidin’ between the scales: the scaling components of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations. In: Loreau M, Naeem S, Inchausti P (eds) Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: synthesis and perspectives. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  5. Brooker RW, Callagham TV (1998) The balance between positive and negative plant interactions and its relationship to environmental gradients: a model. Oikos 81:196–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cabezas J, Escudero JC (1992) Distribución de especies de vegetación leñosa de la provincia de Badajoz y su relación con las precipitaciones. Studia Oecologica IX:23–46Google Scholar
  7. Callaway RM, Puignaire FI (1999) Facilitation in plant communities. In: Puignaire FI, Valladares F (eds) Handbook of functional plant ecology. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, pp 623–648Google Scholar
  8. Callaway RM, Walker LR (1997) Competition and facilitation: a synthetic approach to interactions in plant communities. Ecology 78:1958–1965Google Scholar
  9. Callaway RM (1995) Positive interactions among the plants. Bot Rev 61:306–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Callaway RM (1998) Are positive interactions among plant species—specific? Oikos 82:202–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Casado MA, Castro I, Ramírez L, Costa M, De Miguel M, Pineda FD (2004) Herbaceous plant richness and vegetation cover in Mediterranean grasslands and shrublands. Plant Ecol 170:83–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen J, Saunders SC, Crow TR, Naiman RJ, Brosofske KD, Mroz GD, Brookshire BL, Franklin JF (1999) Microclimate in forest ecosystem and landscape ecology: variations in local climate can be used to monitor and compare the effects of different management regimes. Bioscience 49 (4):288–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ferrer-Castán D, Vetaas OR (2003) Floristic variation, chorological types and diversity: do they correspond at broad and local scales? Divers Distrib 9:221–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Forseth IN, Wait DA, Casper BB (2001) Shading by shrubs in a desert system reduces the physiological and demographic performance of an associated herbaceous perennial. J ecol 89:670–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Franco AC, Nobel PS (1989) Effect of nurse plants on the microhabitat and growth of cacti. J Ecol 77:870–886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gavilán R, Fernández-González F (1997) Climatic discrimination of Mediterranean broad-leave sclerophyllous and deciduous forests in Central Spain. J Veg Sci 8:377–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gavilán R, Fernández-González F, Blasi C (1998) Climatic classification and ordination of the Spanish Sistema Central: relationships with potential vegetation. Plant Ecol 139:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Graham MH (2003) Confronting multicollinearity in ecological multiple regression. Ecology 84:2809–2815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Greenlee JP (1977) Effects of abiotic stress on the relative importance of interference on facilitation. Am Nat 148:386–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guo Q (1998) Microhabitat differentiation in Chiuahuan Desert plant communities. Plant Ecol 139:71–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haase P, Puignaire FI, Clarck SC, Incoll LD (1996) Spatial patterns in two tired semi-arid shrubland in southern of Spain. J Veg Sci 7:527–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Holmgreen M, Scheffer RM, Huston MA (1997) The interplay of facilitation and competition in plant communities. Ecology 78:1966–1975Google Scholar
  23. Holzapfel C, Mahall BE (1999) Bidirectional facilitation and interference between shrub and annuals in the Mojave Desert. Ecology 80:1747–1761CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hooper DU, Dukes JS (2004) Overyielding among plant functional groups in a long-term experiment. Ecol Lett 7:95–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hotchtrasser T, Peters DPC (2004) Subdominant species distribution in microsites around two life forms at a desert grassland-shrubland transition zone. J Veg Sci 15:615–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Huston MA (1994) Biological diversity: the coexistence of species on changing landscapes. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Jones HG (1992) Plants and microclimate: a quantitative approach to environmental plant physiology. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  28. Jongman RHG, Teer Braak CJF, Van Torengen OFR (eds) (1995) Data analysis in community ecology. PUDOC, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  29. Köchy M, Wilson SD (2000) Competitive effects of shrubs and grasses in prairie. Oikos 91:385–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Leps J, Smilauer P (2003) Multivariate analysis of ecological data using CANOCO. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  31. Levin SA (1992) The problem of pattern and scale in ecology. Ecology 73:1943–1967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Madrigal J, García-Rodriguez JA, Julián-González R, Puerto A, Fernández-Santos B (2007) Respuesta multivariante de comunidades subseriales de matorral a factores climáticos y efectos en la regeneración forestal espontánea. Ecología 21 (in press)Google Scholar
  33. Margalef R (1991) El desarrollo histórico. Teoría de los sistemas ecológicos. Universidad de Barcelona, Barcelona, pp 234–273Google Scholar
  34. McCune B, Grace JR (2002) Analysis of ecological communities. MJM Software Design, Gleden Beak, OregonGoogle Scholar
  35. Mitchel RJ, Marrs RH, Leduc RG, Auld MHD (1997) A study of succession on lowland heaths in Dorset, southern England: changes in vegetation and soil chemical properties. J Appl Ecol 34:1426–1444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Moro MJ, Puignaire FI, Haasse P, Puigdefábregas J (1997) Mechanisms of interactions between leguminous shrub and its understory in a semiarid environment. Ecography 20:175–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nahal I (1981) The Mediterranean climate from a biological viewpoint. In: Di Castri F, Goodall DW, Specht RL (eds) Ecosystems of the world (11). Mediterranean-type ecosystems shrublands. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp 82–85Google Scholar
  38. Olofsson J, Moen J, Oksanen L (1999) On the balance between positive and negative interactions in harsh environments. Oikos 86:539–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pausas J (1999) Response of plant functional types to changes in the fire regime in Mediterranean ecosystems: a simulation approach. J Veg Sci 10:717–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pausas J, Juli G, Carreras J, Ferré A, Font X (2003) Coarse-scale plant species richness in relation to environmental heterogeneity. J Veg Sci 14:661–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Puerto A, Rico M (1994) Tree canopy effects on community structure in slopes of Mediterranean rangelands. Ecology (Bratislava) 13 (2):161–171Google Scholar
  42. Puignaire FI, Armas C, Tirado R (2001) Chapter 8. In: Zamora R, Puignaire FI (eds) Ecosistemas mediterráneos: Análisis funcional. CSIC AEET, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  43. Puignaire FI, Luque MT (2001) Changes in plant interactions along a gradient of environmental stress. Oikos 93:42–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Retuerto R, Carballeira A (2004) Estimating plant responses to climate by direct gradient analysis and geographic distribution analysis. Plant Ecol 170:185–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rivas Martinez S (1985) Mapa de series de vegetación de España. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, MadridGoogle Scholar
  46. Rivas Martinez S (1987) Nociones sobre fitosociología, biogeografía y bioclimatología. In: Ariza A et al (eds) La Vegetación de España. Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Alcalá de HenaresGoogle Scholar
  47. Shmida A, Whittaker RH (1981) Pattern and biological microsite effects in two shrub communities, southern California. Ecology 62:234–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Specht RL, Moll EJ, Pressinger F, Sommerville J (1983) Moisture regime and nutrient control of seasonal growth in Mediterranean ecosystems. In: Kruger FJ, Mitchell DT, Jarvis JUM (eds) Mediterranean-type ecosystems. The role of nutrients. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, DE, pp 120–132Google Scholar
  49. Teer Braak CJF, Prentice IC (1988) A theory of gradient analysis. Adv Ecol Res 18:272–313Google Scholar
  50. Tielbörger K, Kadmon R (1995) The effect of shrubs on the emergence, survival and fecundity of four coexisting annual species in sandy desert ecosystem. Écoscience 2:141–147Google Scholar
  51. Tielbörger K, Kadmon R (1997) Relationships between shrubs annual communities in a sandy desert ecosystem: a three-year study. Plant Ecol 130:191–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tielborger K, Kadmon R (2000) Temporal environmental variation tips the balance between facilitation and interference in desert plants. Ecology 81:1544–1554Google Scholar
  53. Wilson SD (1998) Competition between grasses and woody plants. In: Cheplick GP (ed) Population ecology of grasses. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  54. Woodward FI (1987) Climate and plant distribution. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaime Madrigal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jose Antonio García-Rodriguez
    • 1
  • Roberto Julian
    • 1
  • Angel Puerto
    • 1
  • Belen Fernández-Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Área de EcologíaCampus Unamuno (University of Salamanca)SalamancaSpain

Personalised recommendations