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A novel dataset of permanent plots in extremely species-rich temperate grasslands

Abstract

The extreme species richness of some temperate grasslands is a globally relevant yet understudied phenomenon. Until now, few records from thoroughly sampled, though not permanently fixed, vegetation plots were available. We therefore established a network of 40 permanent 4 × 4-m2 plots in species-rich grasslands of the White Carpathians (Czechia), Ukraine, Hungary and Romania. Thirty-one of them form the main dataset comprising plots from discrete forest-steppe grasslands (the Brachypodio-Molinietum association of the Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati alliance), while nine of them forms the local dataset from a single locality in the White Carpathians, whose vegetation lacks most forest-steppe species and is transitional between the Bromion erecti and Arrhenatherion elatioris alliances (the Anthoxantho-Agrostietum and Anthyllido vulnerariae-Trifolietum montani associations). The permanent plots contain a nested subplot of 1 m2, except for five plots from Ukraine and Romania. Most plots harboured at least 80 vascular plant species per 16 m2, with the mean richness of 16-m2 plots was 95.3 species in the main dataset and 84 species in the local dataset. Mean richness of the 1-m2 subplots, presumably reflecting local environmental conditions and competitive relationships more than that of 16 m2 plots, did not vary between the two datasets, with a general mean of 57.6 species. Species counts of 16-m2 plots and 1-m2 subplots correlated, albeit only moderately, only in the main dataset. The presented datasets may be used for comparative analyses as well as for a future revisiting of the plots and may bring novel insights into the dynamics of extreme species richness.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Pavel Dřevojan, Pavel Novák, Ivana Jongepierová, Jakub Těšitel, Helena Prokešová, Pavel Daněk, Katarína Devánová, Karel Fajmon, Eva Šmerdová, Zuzana Plesková, Lucia Cachovanová, Daniel Dítě and Irina Goia for their help in the field, and Jitka Klimešová and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. The preparation of the paper was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (project 20-09895S). The authors affiliated to the Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences (P.H. and J.R.) were supported by the long-term developmental project of the Czech Academy of Sciences (RVO 67985939). In 2019, M.H. was further supported by the Centre for European Vegetation Syntheses (CEVS; project of Czech Science Foundation 19-28491X).

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Correspondence to Michal Hájek.

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Table S1

Detailed information on vegetation-plot records from the permanent plots (CSV 17 kb)

Table S2

Synoptic table of the four clusters resulting from the ISOPAM classification (PDF 120 kb)

Table S3

Full table of vegetation-plot records. The numbers in column headings refer to the record numbers in Table S1. (CSV 72 kb)

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Hájek, M., Hájková, P. & Roleček, J. A novel dataset of permanent plots in extremely species-rich temperate grasslands. Folia Geobot 55, 257–268 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12224-020-09372-6

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Keywords

  • diversity hotspot
  • extreme species richness
  • forest-steppe
  • permanent plots
  • temperate grasslands
  • White Carpathians