Advertisement

Biologia

, 64:69 | Cite as

Variation in life-cycle between three rare and endangered floodplain violets in two regions: implications for population viability and conservation

  • Rolf Lutz EcksteinEmail author
  • Jiří Danihelka
  • Annette Otte
Article

Abstract

We studied the demography of Viola elatior, V. pumila, and V. stagnina, three rare and endangered Central European floodplain species, to (i) analyse variation in life-cycles among congeners and between regions (Dyje-Morava floodplains, Czech Republic; Upper Rhine, Germany), (ii) to define sensitive stages in the life-cycles, and (iii) to identify possible threats for population viability and species conservation.

Matrix models were based on the fate of marked individuals from a total of 27 populations over two years. We analysed population growth rate (λ), stage distribution, net reproductive rate (R 0), generation time, age at first reproduction, and elasticity and calculated a life table response experiment (LTRE).

Most populations were declining and λ did not differ between species or regions during the observed interval. Despite higher probabilities for survival and flowering in the Dyje populations, R 0 was higher in the Rhine populations. Also other demographic traits showed consistent differences between regions and/or species. Complex life-cycles and large variation in λ precluded unequivocal identification of sensitive stages or vital rates for conservation. Variation between regions may be a consequence of differences in habitat quality.

Our results suggest that deterministic processes such as reduced management, succession, habitat destruction, and lack of disturbance through reduced or eliminated flooding present the strongest threat for the viability and persistence of populations of the three floodplain violets as compared with stochastic processes. However, the persistent seed bank of the species may buffer populations against environmental variation and represents a reservoir for recovery after resumption of suitable land-use management.

Key words

Viola elatior Viola pumila Viola stagninaI conservation demography life table response experiment (LTRE) matrix models 

References

  1. Adams V.M., Marsh D.M. & Knox J.S. 2005. Importance of the seed bank for population viability and population monitoring in a threatened wetland herb. Biol. Cons. 124: 425–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bissels S., Hölzel N. & Otte A. 2004. Population structure of the threatened perennial Serratula tinctoria in relation to vegetation and management. Appl. Veg. Sci. 7: 267–274.Google Scholar
  3. Bühler C. & Schmid B. 2001. The influence of management regime and altitude on the population structure of Succisa pratensis: implications for vegetation monitoring. J. Appl. Ecol. 38: 689–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burkart M. 2001. River corridor plants (Stromtalpflanzen) in Central European lowlands: a review of a poorly understood plant distribution pattern. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 10: 449–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brys R., Jacquemyn H., Endels P., DeBlust G. & Hermy M. 2005. Effect of habitat deterioration on population dynamics and extinction risks in a previously common perennial. Cons. Biol. 19: 1633–1643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cabin R.J. & Marshall D.L. 2000. The demographic role of soil seed banks. I. Spatial and temporal comparison of below- and above-ground populations of the desert mustard Lesquerella fendleri. J. Ecol. 88: 283–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caswell H. 1996. Analysis of life table response experiments II. Alternative parameterizations for size- and stage-structured models. Ecol. Model. 88: 73–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Caswell H. 2001. Matrix population models. Construction, analysis and interpretation. 2nd ed. Sinauer, Sunderland, 722 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Chapin F.S. III, Walker B.H., Hobbs R.J., Hooper D.U., Lawton J.H., Sala O.E. & Tilman D. 1997. Biotic control over the functioning of ecosystems. Science 277: 500–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Colling G., Matthies D. & Reckinger C. 2002. Population structure and establishment of the threatened long-lived perennial Scorzonera humilis in relation to environment. J. Appl. Ecol. 39: 310–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Croft J.M. & Preston C.D. 1996. Species recovery programme: Fen Violet (Viola persicifolia Schreber). 3rd Progress Report, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.Google Scholar
  12. de Kroon H., Plaisir A., van Groenendael J. & Caswell H. 1986. Elasticity: the relative contribution of demographic parameters to population growth rate. Ecology 67: 1427–1431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dixon P.M. 1993. The bootstrap and the jackknife: Describing the precision of ecological indices, pp. 290–318. In: Scheiner S.M. & Gurevitch J. (eds), Design and Analysis of Ecological Experiments. Chapman & Hall, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Donath T.W., Hölzel N., Bissels S. & Otte A. 2004. Perspectives for incorporating biomass from non-intensively managed temperate flood-meadows into farming systems. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 104: 439–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Durka W. 1999. Genetic diversity in peripheral and subcentral populations of Corrigiola litoralis L. (Illecebraceae). Heredity 83: 476–484.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eckstein R.L., Danihelka J., Hölzel N. & Otte A. 2004. The effects of management and environmental variation on population stage structure in three river-corridor violets. Acta Oecol. 25: 83–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eckstein R.L. & Donath T.W. 2005. Interactions between litter and water availability affect seedling emergence in four familial pairs of floodplain species. J. Ecol. 93: 807–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eckstein R.L., Hölzel N. & Danihelka J. 2006a. Biological Flora of Central Europe: Viola elatior, V. pumila, and V. stagnina. Perspect. Plant Ecol. Evol. Syst. 8: 45–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Eckstein R.L., O’Neill R., Danihelka J., Otte A. & Köhler W. 2006b. Genetic structure among and within peripheral and central populations of three endangered floodplain violets. Mol. Ecol. 15: 2367–2379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eckstein R.L. & Otte A. 2005. Effects of cleistogamy and pollen source on seed production and offspring performance in three endangered violets. Basic Appl. Ecol. 6: 339–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Endels P., Jacquemyn H., Brys R., Hermy M. & De Blust G. 2002. Temporal changes (1986–1999) in populations of primrose (Primula vulgaris Huds.) in an agricultural landscape and implications for conservation. Biol. Cons. 105: 11–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Eriksson O. 1996. Regional dynamics of plants: a review of evidence for remnant, source-sink and metapopulations. Oikos 77: 248–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Eriksson O., Cousins S.A.O. & Bruun H.H. 2002. Land-use history and fragmentation of traditionally managed grasslands in Scandinavia. J. Veg. Sci. 13: 743–748.Google Scholar
  24. Facelli J.M. & Pickett S.T.A. 1991. Plant litter: its dynamics and effects on plant community structure. Bot. Rev. 57: 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gaston K.J. & Kunin W.E. 1997. Concluding comments, pp. 262–272. In: Kunin W.E. & Gaston K.J. (eds.), The Biology of Rarity. Causes and Consequences of Rare-common Differences. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  26. Grime J.P. 2002. Plant Strategies, Vegetation Processes, and Ecosystems Properties. Wiley, Chichester, 417 pp.Google Scholar
  27. Hölzel N. 2003. Re-assessing the ecology of rare flood-meadow violets (Viola elatior, V. pumila and V. persicifolia) with large phytosociological data sets. Folia Geobot. 38: 281–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hölzel N., Bissels S., Donath T.W., Handke K., Harnisch M. & Otte A. 2006. Renaturierung von Stromtalwiesen am hessischen Oberrhein. Naturschutz und biologische Vielfalt 31: 1–263.Google Scholar
  29. Hölzel N. & Otte A. 2004. Assessing the soil seed bank persistence in flood-meadows: The search for reliable traits. J. Veg. Sci. 15: 93–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Honnay O., Jacquemyn H., Bossuyt B. & Hermy M. 2005. Forest fragmentation effects on patch occupancy and population viability of herbaceous plant species. New Phytol. 166: 723–736.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hood G.M. 2005. PopTools version 2.6.7. http://www.cse.csiro. au/poptools (accessed 15.03.2005).
  32. Huenneke L.F. 1991. Ecological implications of genetic variation in plant populations, pp. 31–44. In: Falk D.A. & Holsinger K.E. (eds), Genetics and Conservation of Rare Plants. Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  33. Hultén E. & Fries M. 1986. Atlas of North European Vascular Plants (North of the Tropic of Cancer). Koeltz Scientific Books, Koenigstein, 1172 pp.Google Scholar
  34. Jacquemyn H., Brys R. & Hermy M. 2003. Short-term effects of different management regimes on the response of calcareous grassland vegetation to increased nitrogen. Biol. Cons. 111: 137–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jensen K. & Meyer C. 2001. Effects of light competition and litter on the performance of Viola palustris and on species composition and diversity of an abandoned fen meadow. Plant Ecol. 155: 169–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jongejans E. & de Kroon H. 2005. Space versus time variation in the population dynamics of three co-occurring perennial herbs. J. Ecol. 93: 681–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kiviniemi K. 2002. Population dynamics of Agrimonia eupatoria and Geum rivale, two perennial grassland species. Plant Ecol. 159: 153–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kluth C. & Bruelheide H. 2005. Central and peripheral Hornungia petraea populations: patterns and processes. J. Ecol. 93: 584–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Korneck D., Schnittler M. & Vollmer I. 1996. Rote Liste der Farn- und Blütenpflanzen (Pteridophyta et Spermatophyta) Deutschlands. Schriftenreihe Vegetationsk. 28: 21–187.Google Scholar
  40. Korneck D., Schnittler M., Klingenstein F., Ludwig G., Takla M., Bohn U. & May R. 1998. Warum verarmt unser Flora? Auswertung der Roten Listen der Farn- und Blütenpflanzen Deutschlands. Schriftenreihe Vegetationsk. 29: 299–444.Google Scholar
  41. Lammi A., Siikamäki P. & Mustajärvi K. 1999. Genetic diversity, population size, and fitness in central and peripheral populations of a rare plant Lychnis viscaria. Cons. Biol. 13: 1069–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lawton J.H. 1993. Range, population abundance and conservation. Trends Ecol. Evol. 8: 409–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lennartsson T. & Oostermeijer G.B. 2001. Demographic variation and population viability in Gentianella campestris: effects of grassland management and environmental stochasticity. J. Ecol. 89: 451–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lepš J. 1999. Nutrient status, disturbance and competition: an experimental test of relationships in a wet meadow copy. J. Veg. Sci. 10: 219–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lesica P. & Allendorf F.W. 1995. When are peripheral populations valuable for conservation? Cons. Biol. 9: 753–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lindborg R., Cousins S.A.O., Eriksson O. 2005. Plant response to land use change — Campanula rotundifolia, Primula veris and Rhinantus minor. Ecography 28: 29–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Manly B.F.J. 2001. Randomization and Monte Carlo Methods in Biology. Chapman & Hall, London, 399 pp.Google Scholar
  48. McCue K.A. & Holtsford T.P. 1998. Seed bank influences on genetic diversity in the rare annual Clarkia springvillensis (Onagraceae). Am. J. Bot. 85: 30–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McPeek M.A. & Kalisz S. 1993. Population sampling and bootstrapping in complex designs: demographic analysis, pp. 232–252. In: Scheiner S.M. & Gurevitch J. (eds), Design and Analysis of Ecological Experiments. Chapman & Hall, New York.Google Scholar
  50. Menges E.S. 2000. Population viability analyses in plants: challenges and opportunities. Trends Ecol. Evol. 15: 51–56.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Moora M., Sõber V. & Zobel M. 2003. Responses of a rare (Viola elatior) and a common (Viola mirabilis) congeneric species to different management conditions in grassland — is different light competition ability responsible for different abundances? Acta Oecol. 24: 169–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Morris W.F. & Doak D.F. 2002. Quantitative Conservation Biology: Theory and Practice of Population Viability Analysis. Sinauer, Sunderland, 480 pp.Google Scholar
  53. Newell S.J., Solbrig O.T. & Kincaid D.T. 1981. Studies on the population biology of the genus Viola. III. The demography of Viola blanda and Viola pallens. J. Ecol. 69: 997–1016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nicolè F., Brzosko E. & Till-Bottraud I. 2005. Population viability analysis of Cypripedium calceolus in a protected area: longevity, stability and persistence. J. Ecol. 93: 716–726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Oostermeijer J.G.B., Brugman M.L., de Boer E.R. & den Nijs H.C.M. 1996. Temporal and spatial variation in the demography of Gentiana pneumonanthe, a rare perennial herb. J. Ecol. 84: 153–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Oostermeijer J.G.B., van’t Veer R. & den Nijs J.C.M. 1994. Population structure of the rare, long-lived perennial Gentiana pneumonanthe in relation to vegetation and management in the Netherlands. J. Appl. Ecol. 31: 428–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pullin A.S. & Woodell S.R.J. 1987. Response of the fen violet, Viola persicifolia Schreber, to different management regimes at Woodwalton Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire, England. Biol. Cons. 41: 203–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Quinn G.P. & Keough M.J. 2002. Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 537 pp.Google Scholar
  59. Reger B., Otte A. & Waldhardt R. 2007. Identifying patterns of land-cover change and their physical attributes in a marginal European landscape. Landsc. Urban Plan. 81: 104–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sagarin R.D. & Gaines S.D. 2002. The ‘abundant centre’ distribution: to what extent is it a biogeographical rule? Ecol. Lett. 5: 137–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sala O.E., Chapin F.S. III, Armesto J.J., Berlow E., Bloomfield J., Dirzo R., Huber-Sanwald E., Huenneke L.F., Jackson R.B., Kinzig A., Leemans R., Lodge D.M., Mooney H.A., Oesterheld M., LeRoy Poff N., Sykes M.T., Walker B.H., Walker M. & Wall D.H. 2000. Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science 287: 1770–1774.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schemske D.W., Husband B.C., Ruckelhaus M.H., Goodwillie C., Parker I.M. & Bishop J.G. 1994. Evaluating approaches to the conservation of rare and endangered plants. Ecology 75: 584–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schnittler M. & Günther K.-F. 1999. Central European vascular plants requiring priority conservation measures — an analysis from national Red Lists and distribution maps. Biodiv. Cons. 8: 891–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Silvertown J., Franco M. & Menges E. 1996. Interpretation of elasticity matrices as an aid to the management of plant populations for conservation. Cons. Biol. 10: 591–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Silvertown J., Franco M., Pisanty I. & Mendoza A. 1993. Comparative plant demography — relative importance of life-cycle components to the finite rate of increase in woody and herbaceous perennials. J. Ecol. 81: 465–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Solbrig O.T., Curtis W.F., Kincaid D.T. & Newell S.J. 1988. The population biology of the genus Viola. VI. The demography of V. fimbriatula and V. lanceolata. J. Ecol. 76: 301–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Solbrig O.T., Newell S.J. & Kincaid D.T. 1980. The population biology of the genus Viola. I. The demography of Viola sororia. J. Ecol.68: 521–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Svensson B.M., Carlsson B. Å., Karlsson P.S. & Nordell K.O. 1993. Comparative long-term demography of three species of Pinguicula. J. Ecol. 81: 635–645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tolvanen A., Schroderus J. & Henry G.H.R. 2001. Demography of three dominant sedges under contrasting grazing regimes in the High Arctic. J. Veg. Sci. 12: 659–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Valverde T. & Silvertown J. 1998. Variation in the demography of a woodland understorey herb (Primula vulgaris) along the forest regeneration cycle: projection matrix analysis. J. Ecol. 86: 545–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Vitousek P.M., Mooney H.A., Lubchenko J. & Melillo J.M. 1997. Human domination of earth’s ecosystems. Science 277: 494–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Lutz Eckstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jiří Danihelka
    • 2
    • 3
  • Annette Otte
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Landscape Ecology and Resource ManagementJustus-Liebig-University GiessenGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Botany and ZoologyFaculty of Science Masaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Ecology BrnoInstitute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicBrnoCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations