Plant Ecology

, 203:45 | Cite as

Arable weed vegetation of the northeastern part of the Czech Republic: effects of environmental factors on species composition

  • Šárka CimalováEmail author
  • Zdeňka Lososová


Factors determining changes in species composition of arable field weed vegetation in the northeastern part of the Czech Republic were studied. Gradsect sampling, i.e. a priori stratified selection of sampling sites, was used for the field research. Using this method, a data set of 174 vegetation plots, covering a whole range of basic environmental characteristics in the study area, was compiled in 2001–2003. A set of environmental variables (altitude, annual precipitation, mean annual temperature, soil type, soil pH and crop type) together with date of sampling was obtained for each plot. Ordination methods were used to determine the effects of variables on arable weed composition. For each variable, the gross and net effect on weed species composition were calculated. All variables considered in this study had a significant effect on weed species composition and explained 7.25% of the total variation in species data. Major changes in weed species composition in the study area were associated with different crop types. The second most important gradient in the variability of weed vegetation in the study area was associated with altitudinal and climatic changes followed by seasonal changes and different soil types and pH. Our results show that on a regional scale, the relative importance of different crop types and their associated management on changes in arable weed species composition is higher than the relative importance of climatic variables. The relative importance of climatic variables decreases with their decreasing length of gradient.


Arable land Climate Crop Gradient analysis Seasonal dynamics Soil type 



We thank Milan Chytrý for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the project MSM 0021622416 of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of OstravaOstravaCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of ScienceMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Faculty of EducationMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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