How is Regeneration of Plants after Mowing Affected by Shoot Size in Two Species-Rich Meadows with Different Water Supply?
- 197 Downloads
Mowing a meadow is an example of an equalizing process that reduces differences among species by removing aboveground biomass approximately 5 cm above ground. This regular disturbance that affects all plants prevents competitive exclusion of small species and thus allows coexistence of numerous species differing in shoot size. In this paper we search for the mechanism behind this by comparing the shoot biomass of 41 common species in dry and wet species-rich meadows in mown and recently abandoned plots in June (before mowing) and in October. We asked the following questions: i) Do the plants differ in proportion of biomass lost by mowing? ii) Are the mown plants able to compensate for biomass lost by mowing? iii) Is the compensatory ability of mown plants related to their size? iv) Is the compensatory ability of plants related to severity of disturbance (removed biomass)? v) Does water availability in meadows affect these features? Our results revealed that the earlier explanation of equalization of meadow plants after mowing due to the proportionally larger biomass loss in larger plants than small plants does not represent the entire mechanism. Even when larger plants in the wet meadow lost more biomass, the proportion of lost biomass was not dependent on plant size, and compensation ability (growth of mown in comparison with unmown plants) was not related to the lost biomass in this meadow type. On the contrary, the observed pattern could be explained by different compensation abilities of small versus tall plants. In addition, according to our expectations, the compensation for lost biomass in the wet meadow was higher than in the dry one.
KeywordsAbandonment Coexistence Compensatory growth Mowing Shoot biomass Species-rich meadow
Plant nomenclatureKubát et al. (2002)
- Anon (1996) STATISTICA for Windows [Computer program manual]. Stat Soft, TulsaGoogle Scholar
- Caswell H, Cohen JE (1991) Communities in patchy environments: a model of disturbance, competition and heterogeneity. In Kolasa J, Pickett JTA (eds) Ecological heterogeneity. Springer, New York, pp 48–65Google Scholar
- Falster DS, Warton DI, Wright IJ (2006) SMATR: Standardised major axis tests and routines. Version 2.0. Available at: http://www.bio.mq.edu.au/ecology/SMATR/
- Futák P, Šimša M, Piro Z, Jongepierová I (2008) Historie obhospodařování (History of farming). In Jongepierová I. (ed) Louky Bílých Karpat (Grasslands of the White Carpathian Mountains). ZO ČSOP Bílé Karpaty, Veselí nad Moravou, pp 38–45Google Scholar
- Givnish TJ (1995) Plant stems: biomechanical adaptation for energy capture and influence on species distribution. In Gartner BL (ed) Plant stems: Physiology and functional morphology. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 3–49Google Scholar
- Isselstein J, Jeangros B, Pavlů V (2005) Agronomic aspects of biodiversity targeted management of temperate grasslands in Europe – a review. Agron Res 3:139–151Google Scholar
- Klimeš L, Jongepier JW, Jongepierová I (2000) The effect of mowing on a previously abandoned meadow: a ten-year experiment. Příroda 17:7–24Google Scholar
- Kubát K et al. (eds) (2002) Klíč ke květeně České republiky (Key to the Flora of the Czech Republic). Academia, PrahaGoogle Scholar
- Martínková J, Šmilauer P, Mihulka S (2002) Phenological pattern of grassland species: relation to the ecological and morphological traits. Flora 197:290–302Google Scholar
- Palmer MW (1994) Variation in species richness: towards a unification of hypotheses. Folia Geobot Phytotax 29:511–530Google Scholar
- Tolasz R et al. (2007) Atlas podnebí Česka (Climate atlas of Czechia). Český hydrometeorologický ústav, Praha & Univerzita Palackého, OlomoucGoogle Scholar