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Disturbance interval modulates the starting point for vegetation succession

Gustafsson, Lena and Johansson, Victor and Leverkus, Alexandro B. and Strengbom, Joachim and Granath, Gustaf (2021). Disturbance interval modulates the starting point for vegetation succession. Ecology. 102 , e03439
[Research article]

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Abstract

Increased frequency and new types of disturbances caused by global change calls for deepened insights into possible alterations of successional pathways. Despite current interest in disturbance interactions there is a striking lack of studies focusing on the implication of decreasing times between disturbances. We surveyed forest-floor vegetation (vascular plants and bryophytes) in a Pinus sylvestris-dominated, even-aged production forest landscape, unique because of the presence of stands under a precisely dated disturbance interval gradient, ranging from 0 to 123 yr between clearcutting and a subsequent megafire. Despite a dominance of early-successional species in all burned stands 5 yr after fire, progression of succession was linked to time since the preceding clearcutting disturbance. This was most clearly seen in increased frequency with time since clearcutting of the dominant, late-successional dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus, with surviving rhizomes as an important mechanism for postfire recovery. Our results demonstrate the role of legacy species as significant drivers of succession. We conclude that the starting point for succession is modulated by disturbance interval, so that shortened intervals risk reducing development towards late-successional stages. We suggest that a decrease in long successional sequences caused by more frequent disturbances may represent a general pattern, relevant also for other forest types and ecosystems.

Authors/Creators:Gustafsson, Lena and Johansson, Victor and Leverkus, Alexandro B. and Strengbom, Joachim and Granath, Gustaf
Title:Disturbance interval modulates the starting point for vegetation succession
Series Name/Journal:Ecology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:102
Article number:e03439
Number of Pages:8
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0012-9658
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 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:clearcutting, disturbance interaction, disturbance modification, ecological legacy, fire, light, plants, succession, traits, vegetation
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113210
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113210
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/ecy.3439
Web of Science (WoS)000675674900001
ID Code:25319
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:13 Sep 2021 14:25
Metadata Last Modified:13 Sep 2021 14:31

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