Central European Journal of Biology

, Volume 8, Issue 9, pp 888–897 | Cite as

Spatio-temporal patterns along a primary succession on alluvial sediments

  • Maša Ignjatović
  • Mitja Kaligarič
  • Sonja ŠkornikEmail author
  • Danijel Ivajnšič
Research Article


Dynamic alluvial landscapes offer many possibilities to study primary succession processes on newly developed habitats. However, within the Central European environmental conditions, where watercourses and their riparian spaces are under severe anthropogenic pressures — water regulation, deforestation, lowering of groundwater — natural processes are limited. We studied primary succession on alluvial stream deposits in an artificial lake, where we aimed to follow the terrestrialisation rate and habitat turnover, along with plant species richness and composition across successional stages. In 30 years, a pristine white-willow riparian forest developed. One half of the initially aquatic habitat became terrestrial. The frequency of change, studied on 11250 quadrats 10×10 m each (on a scale from “no change” to 8 changes) and the mean of change per habitat type (most of the habitats changed 2 to 3 times) revealed only one successional trajectory. The percentage flow chart showed a deterministic pathway of succession. The “time since formation” of a terrestrial habitat shows that more than 20% of the lake was terrestrialised within in the first ten years. We studied species richness and composition along three composed transects, following successional stages. We found that the newly assembled riparian white willow woodland has a surprisingly low colonisation rate of plant species.


Lake Ledava Slovenia White willow Habitat types Species richness Colonisation rate 


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Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maša Ignjatović
    • 1
  • Mitja Kaligarič
    • 2
  • Sonja Škornik
    • 2
    Email author
  • Danijel Ivajnšič
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Ecological EngineeringMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and MathematicsUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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