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Linking landscape history and dispersal traits in grassland plant communities

Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 773-783
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Oecologia
Volym: 168
Nummer: 3
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Springer


Dispersal limitation and long-term persistence
are known to delay plant species’ responses to habitat
fragmentation, but it is still unclear to what extent landscape
history may explain the distribution of dispersal traits
in present-day plant communities. We used quantitative
data on long-distance seed dispersal potential by wind and
grazing cattle (epi- and endozoochory), and on persistence
(adult plant longevity and seed bank persistence) to quantify
the linkages between dispersal and persistence traits in
grassland plant communities and current and past landscape
configurations. The long-distance dispersal potential
of present-day communities was positively associated with
the amounts of grassland in the historical (1835, 1938)
landscape, and with a long continuity of grazing management—
but was not associated with the properties of the
current landscape. The study emphasises the role of history
as a determinant of the dispersal potential of present-day
grassland plant communities. The importance of long-distance
dispersal processes has declined in the increasingly
fragmented modern landscape, and long-term persistent
species are expected to play a more dominant role in
grassland communities in the future. However, even within
highly fragmented landscapes, long-distance dispersed
species may persist locally—delaying the repayment of the
extinction debt.



  • Physical Geography
  • Ecology
  • Life-history traits
  • Persistence
  • Fourth-corner
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Land-use history


  • BECC
  • ISSN: 0029-8549
  • ISSN: 1432-1939

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