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Functional Diversity of Riparian Woody Vegetation Is Less Affected by River Regulation in the Mediterranean Than Boreal Region

Lozanovska, Ivana and Bejarano, Maria Dolores and Martins, Maria Joao and Nilsson, Christer and Ferreira, Maria Teresa and Aguiar, Francisca C. (2020). Functional Diversity of Riparian Woody Vegetation Is Less Affected by River Regulation in the Mediterranean Than Boreal Region. Frontiers in Plant Science. 11 , 857 , 1-13
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Abstract

River regulation may filter out riparian plants often resulting in reduced functional diversity, i.e., in the range of functions that organisms have in communities and ecosystems. There is, however, little empirical evidence about the magnitude of such reductions in different regions. We investigated the functional diversity patterns of riparian woody vegetation to streamflow regulation in boreal Sweden and Mediterranean Portugal using nine plant functional traits and field data from 109 sampling sites. We evaluated changes in mean plant functional traits as well as in indices of multidimensional functional traits, i.e., functional richness (FRic) and functional redundancy (FRed) within regions and between free-flowing and regulated river reaches. We found that regulation significantly reduced functional diversity in Sweden but not in Portugal. In Sweden, the increased magnitude of variations in water flow and water level in summer, the prolonged duration of extreme hydrological events, the increased frequency of high-water pulses, and the rate of change in water conditions were the likely main drivers of functional diversity change. Small riparian plant species with tiny leaves, poorly lignified stems, and shallow root systems were consistently associated with regulated sites in the boreal region. In Portugal, the similar functional diversity values for free-flowing and regulated rivers likely stem from the smaller streamflow alterations by regulation combined with the species legacy adaptations to the Mediterranean natural hydrological regimes. We conclude that streamflow regulation may reduce the functional diversity of riparian woody vegetation, but the magnitude of these effects will vary depending on the adaptations of the local flora and the patterns of streamflow disturbances. Our study provides insights into functional diversity patterns of riparian woody vegetation affected by regulation in contrasting biomes and encourages further studies of the functional diversity thresholds for maintaining ecosystems.

Authors/Creators:Lozanovska, Ivana and Bejarano, Maria Dolores and Martins, Maria Joao and Nilsson, Christer and Ferreira, Maria Teresa and Aguiar, Francisca C.
Title:Functional Diversity of Riparian Woody Vegetation Is Less Affected by River Regulation in the Mediterranean Than Boreal Region
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:11
Article number:857
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:Frontiers
ISSN:1664-462X
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:functional diversity, functional traits, functional richness, functional redundancy, riparian woody vegetation, streamflow regulation, boreal biome, mediterranean biome
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107231
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107231
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3389/fpls.2020.00857
Web of Science (WoS)000549207200001
ID Code:17477
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:22 Sep 2020 07:48
Metadata Last Modified:22 Sep 2020 07:48

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