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Production of diaspores at the landscape level regulates local colonization: an experiment with a spore-dispersed moss
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Ecography, ISSN 0906-7590, E-ISSN 1600-0587, Vol. 37, no 6, 591-598 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Effective dispersal is crucial to species inhabiting transient substrates in order for them to be able to persist in a landscape. Bryophytes, pteridophytes, lichens and fungi all have wind-dispersed small diaspores and can be efficiently dispersed if their diaspores reach air masses above canopy height. However, empirical data on dispersal over landscape scales are scarce. We investigated how the colonization of an acrocarpous clay-inhabiting pioneer moss, Discelium nudum, varied between sites that differed in connectivity to potential dispersal sources at spatial scales from 1 to 20 km in a region in northern Sweden. We recorded the colonization on ˜25 introduced clay heaps at each of 14 experimental sites some months after the dispersal period. The colonization rate ranged from 0–82% and had a statistically significant relationship with a proxy for potential habitats (amount of clay-dominated soil) in a buffer of 20 km radius surrounding the experimental sites (and also weakly with the amount of substrate in a 10 km buffer). There were no significant relationships between colonization rate and connectivity at smaller scales (1 and 5 km). We made a rough estimate of the number of spores available for dispersal in a landscape, given the amount of clay-dominated soil, by recording the number of Discelium nudum colonies in two 25 × 25 km landscapes. The estimated available spore numbers in the different 20 km buffers were of the same order of magnitude as the deposition densities at the experimental sites calculated from the colonization rates. The results suggest that the spores of species with scattered occurrences and small diaspores (25 μm) in open landscapes can be deposited over extensive areas, at rates high enough to drive colonization patterns. This also implies that regional connectivity may be more important than local connectivity for these kinds of species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 37, no 6, 591-598 p.
National Category
Botany Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100275DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00530.xISI: 000337694100009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-100275DiVA: diva2:692413
Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-30 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Dispersal of bryophytes across landscapes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dispersal of bryophytes across landscapes
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Dispersal, especially long-distance dispersal, is an important component in many disciplines within biology. Many species are passively dispersed by wind, not least spore-dispersed organisms.

In this thesis I investigated the dispersal capacity of bryophytes by studying the colonization patterns from local scales (100 m) to landscape scales (20 km). The dispersal distances were measured from a known source (up to 600 m away) or inferred from a connectivity measure (1–20 km). I introduced acidic clay to measure the colonization rates over one season of a pioneer moss, Discelium nudum (I–III). I also investigated which vascular plants and bryophytes that had colonized limed mires approximately 20–30 years after the first disturbance (IV).

Discelium effectively colonized new disturbed substrates over one season. Most spores were deposited up to 50 meters from a source but the relationship between local colonization rates and connectivity increased with distance up to 20 km (I–III). Also calcicolous wetland bryophyte species were good colonizers over similar distances, while vascular plants in the same environment colonized less frequently. Common bryophytes that produce spores frequently were more effective colonizers, while no effect of spore size was detected (IV). A mechanistic model that take into account meteorological parameters to simulate the trajectories for spores of Discelium nudum fitted rather well to the observed colonization pattern, especially if spore release thresholds in wind variation and humidity were accounted for (III).

This thesis conclude that bryophytes in open habitats can disperse effectively across landscapes given that the regional spore source is large enough (i.e. are common in the region and produce spores abundantly). For spore-dispersed organisms in open landscapes I suggest that it is often the colonization phase and not the transport that is the main bottle-neck for maintaining populations across landscapes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 41 p.
Keyword
anemochory, bryophytes, colonization, connectivity, diaspores, dispersal kernel, establishment, spore dispersal, long-distance dispersal, mechanistic model, mosses, realized dispersal, spore release, Lagrangian stochastic model, wind dispersal
National Category
Botany Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100064 (URN)978-91-7447-778-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-07, Stora föreläsningssalen, Institutionen för Ekologi, Miljö och Botanik, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papesr were unpublished and had  a status as follows: Paper 2: Epubl ahead of print; Paper 3: Manuscript; Paper 4: Manuscript

Available from: 2014-02-13 Created: 2014-01-25 Last updated: 2014-02-21Bibliographically approved

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