Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 46, Issue 2–3, pp 271–288 | Cite as

Patterns of Clonal Growth Modes Along a Chronosequence of Post-Coppice Forest Regeneration in Beech Forests of Central Italy

  • Roberto CanulloEmail author
  • Giandiego Campetella
  • Ladislav Mucina
  • Stefano Chelli
  • Camilla Wellstein
  • Sándor Bartha


Forest coppicing leads to changes in composition of the herbaceous understory through soil disturbance and alteration of the light regime. While the role of seed dispersal traits at the start of succession after coppicing has been extensively studied, the role of persistence traits such as clonal growth and bud banks is not yet sufficiently understood. To gain better understanding of this role, we studied the patterns of clonal growth organs and related clonal traits of species in a series of coppiced beech forests of the Central Apennines (Marches region, Italy) in various stages of recovery after the last coppicing event. We conducted stratified random sampling and established a chronosequence of recovery stages based on stand age (reflecting the number of years since the last coppicing). The beech stands were classified into three age groups (Post-logged, Recovering, and Old-coppice stands) according to the characteristic stages of beech coppice dynamics. Clonal growth organs and the corresponding clonal traits of plants in the forest understory vegetation were assessed with the help of a CLO-PLA1 database. We found no significant change in the proportion of clonal species along the studied chronosequence. In contrast, most of the traits and about the half of the clonal growth organs showed correlation with stand age or preference for a certain habitat (i.e., stage of regeneration). Clonal and bud bank traits proved to play an important role in the persistence of species subjected to forest coppicing cycles in the studied area.


Adaptation Clonality Coppice rotation cycle Forest succession Persistence Plant functional traits Stand age Understory vegetation Vegetative mobility 



Clonal growth organ


Principal coordinate analysis


Detrended correspondence analysis


Redundancy analysis



This research was partially supported by funds of the Montagna di Torricchio Nature Reserve and the Hungarian National Science Foundation (OTKA K 72561). The authors thank the Ministero delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali, S.I.A. Office, the Corpo Forestale dello Stato of the Marche region, and the authorities of the Monti Sibillini National Park for information support.

Supplementary material

12224_2010_9087_MOESM1_ESM.xls (25 kb)
Esm 1 (XLS 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Canullo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giandiego Campetella
    • 1
  • Ladislav Mucina
    • 2
  • Stefano Chelli
    • 1
  • Camilla Wellstein
    • 3
  • Sándor Bartha
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science, Section of Botany & EcologyUniversity of CamerinoCamerinoItaly
  2. 2.School of ScienceCurtin University of TechnologyPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Department of BiogeographyUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  4. 4.Hungarian Academy of SciencesInstitute of Ecology & BotanyVácrátótHungary

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