We analyzed plant functional diversity (FD) and redundancy (FR) in Mediterranean high-mountain communities to explore plant functional patterns and assembly rules. We focused on three above-ground plant traits: plant height (H), a good surrogate of competition for light strategies, and specific leaf area (SLA) and leaf dry matter content (LDMC), useful indicators of resource exploitation functional schemes. We used the georeferenced vegetation plots and field-measured plant functional traits of four widely spread vegetation types growing on screes, steep slopes, snowbeds and ridges, respectively. We calculated Rao’s FD and FR followed by analysis of standardized effect size, and compared FD and FR community values using ANOVA and the Tukey post hoc test. Assemblage rules varied across plant communities and traits. The High FRH registered on snowbeds and ridges is probably linked to climatic filtering processes, while the high FDH and low FDSLA and FDLDMC on steep slopes could be related with underlying competition mechanisms. The absence of FD patterns in scree vegetation pinpoint random assem-bly processes which are typical of highly unstable or disturbed ecosystems. Improved knowledge about the deterministic/stochastic processes shaping species coexistence on high mountain ecosys-tems should help researchers to understand and predict vegetation vulnerability to environmental changes

Exploring Plant Functional Diversity and Redundancy of Mediterranean High-Mountain Habitats in the Apennines

Carranza, Maria Laura
Primo
;
Varricchione, Marco;Stanisci, Angela
2021-01-01

Abstract

We analyzed plant functional diversity (FD) and redundancy (FR) in Mediterranean high-mountain communities to explore plant functional patterns and assembly rules. We focused on three above-ground plant traits: plant height (H), a good surrogate of competition for light strategies, and specific leaf area (SLA) and leaf dry matter content (LDMC), useful indicators of resource exploitation functional schemes. We used the georeferenced vegetation plots and field-measured plant functional traits of four widely spread vegetation types growing on screes, steep slopes, snowbeds and ridges, respectively. We calculated Rao’s FD and FR followed by analysis of standardized effect size, and compared FD and FR community values using ANOVA and the Tukey post hoc test. Assemblage rules varied across plant communities and traits. The High FRH registered on snowbeds and ridges is probably linked to climatic filtering processes, while the high FDH and low FDSLA and FDLDMC on steep slopes could be related with underlying competition mechanisms. The absence of FD patterns in scree vegetation pinpoint random assem-bly processes which are typical of highly unstable or disturbed ecosystems. Improved knowledge about the deterministic/stochastic processes shaping species coexistence on high mountain ecosys-tems should help researchers to understand and predict vegetation vulnerability to environmental changes
https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/13/10/466
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/100761
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