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Responses of riparian plants to accumulation of silt and plant litter: the importance of plant traits
Umea Univ, Landscape Ecol Grp, Dept Ecol & Environm Sci, SE-90187 Umea.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
Umea Univ, Landscape Ecol Grp, Dept Ecol & Environm Sci, SE-90187 Umea.
Umea Univ, Landscape Ecol Grp, Dept Ecol & Environm Sci, SE-90187 Umea.
2001 (English)In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 12, p. 481-490Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A 2-yr field experiment was used to determine the response of riparian plants to accumulation of litter or silt in a river flood-plain meadow in northern Sweden. Such disturbances occur regularly in free-flowing rivers but are likely to change as a result of global changes in land use or climate. We anticipated that plants with different traits would differ in their response to litter and silt accumulation. We quantified plant response as relative change in above-ground biomass, and regressed it on either litter mass or silt depth, and on plant traits such as lateral spread, plant height, relative growth rate, seed mass and seed persistence in soil. The relative changes in riparian plant biomass following litter or silt accumulation were negatively related to litter mass and silt depth, and positively related to most examined plant traits Such as seed mass. seed persistence and lateral spread. The vegetation recovery in the second season was largely determined by plant traits; litter or silt accumulation had no significant effect. Litter accumulation selected for large-seeded species, but silt accumulation selected for species with strong ability of lateral spread. Seed persistence was a useful variable in predicting species recovery from both litter and silt accumulation. Plant height was negatively related to plant recovery, but relative growth rate was not significantly related to relative change in plant biomass after silt or litter accumulation. Our results imply that plant traits are important variables to consider for predicting the responses of riparian vegetation to deposition of organic and inorganic matter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 12, p. 481-490
Keywords [en]
accumulation of litter and silts, burial, lateral spread, riparian plant, seed mass, seed persistence, vegetation change
National Category
Soil Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-13565ISI: 000171984200005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-13565DiVA, id: diva2:413727
Available from: 2011-04-29 Created: 2011-04-19 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Christer

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