Landscape Ecology

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 791–805

The plant functional traits that explain species occurrence across fragmented grasslands differ according to patch management, isolation, and wetness

  • Petra Janečková
  • Štěpán Janeček
  • Jitka Klimešová
  • Lars Götzenberger
  • Jan Horník
  • Jan Lepš
  • Francesco de Bello
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Landscape fragmentation significantly affects species distributions by decreasing the number and connectivity of suitable patches. While researchers have hypothesized that species functional traits could help in predicting species distribution in a landscape, predictions should depend on the type of patches available and on the ability of species to disperse and grow there.

Objectives

To explore whether different traits can explain the frequency of grassland species (number of occupied patches) and/or their occupancy (ratio of occupied to suitable patches) across a variety of patch types within a fragmented landscape.

Methods

We sampled species distributions over 1300 grassland patches in a fragmented landscape of 385 km2 in the Czech Republic. Relationships between functional traits and species frequency and occupancy were tested across all patches in the landscape, as well as within patches that shared similar management, wetness, and isolation.

Results

Although some traits predicting species frequency also predicted occupancy, others were markedly different, with competition- and dispersal-related traits becoming more important for occupancy. Which traits were important differed for frequency and occupancy and also differed depending on patch management, wetness, and isolation.

Conclusions

Plant traits can provide insight into plant distribution in fragmented landscapes and can reveal specific abiotic, biotic, and dispersal processes affecting species occurrence in a patch type. However, the importance of individual traits depends on the type of suitable patches available within the landscape.

Keywords

Functional traits Habitat suitability Isolation Management Potential occurrence Wetness 

Supplementary material

10980_2017_486_MOESM1_ESM.docx (267 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 266 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petra Janečková
    • 1
    • 2
  • Štěpán Janeček
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jitka Klimešová
    • 1
  • Lars Götzenberger
    • 1
  • Jan Horník
    • 2
  • Jan Lepš
    • 2
  • Francesco de Bello
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of BotanyCzech Academy of SciencesTřeboňCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Ecology, Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePraha 2Czech Republic

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