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  • 1. Baeten, Lander
    et al.
    Warton, David I.
    Van Calster, Hans
    De Frenne, Pieter
    Verstraeten, Gorik
    Bonte, Dries
    Bernhardt-Roemermann, Markus
    Cornelis, Johnny
    Decocq, Guillaume
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Hedl, Radim
    Heinken, Thilo
    Hermy, Martin
    Hommel, Patrick
    Kirby, Keith
    Naaf, Tobias
    Petrik, Petr
    Walther, Gian-Reto
    Wulf, Monica
    Verheyen, Kris
    A model-based approach to studying changes in compositional heterogeneity2014In: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2041-210X, E-ISSN 2041-210X, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 156-164Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Bolmgren, Kjell
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Are mismatches the norm? Timing of flowering, fruiting, dispersal and germination and their fitness effects in Frangula alnus (Rhamnaceae)2015In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 124, no 5, p. 639-648Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The close morphological and temporal links between phases of plant growth and reproduction call for integrated studies incorporating several reproductive phases from flowering to recruitment, and associated plant-animal interactions. Phenological strategies, as well as plastic phenological response to climate change, incorporate complex interactions between developmental constraints, pollination and seed dispersal. Relationships between reproductive phenology and components of fitness were studied for two years in the north-temperate, self-incompatible, insect-pollinated, and bird-dispersed shrub Frangula alnus (Rhamnaceae). Fruit set, dispersal, germination and juvenile survival, as well as seed mass and juvenile size were measured in relation to flowering, fruiting and germination time. The results suggest that effects of flowering and fruiting time prevailed in subsequent phases, to some extent as far as to the juvenile phase, but effects of timing were complex and had partly opposing effects on different fitness components. Early flowers had higher fruit-set and experiments indicated that synchronous peak flowering increased fruit-set, but later flowers had higher seed mass. Peak fruiting was not associated with peak dispersal. Late fruits derived from late flowers promoted dispersal. Juvenile recruitment was enhanced by increasing seed size. We conclude that the phenology of flowering and fruiting in F. alnus comprises several features, each with different and sometimes counteracting effects on fitness components. From a general perspective, this result implies that we should not expect to find finely tuned matches in timing specifically between flowering and pollinators, and fruiting and seed dispersing birds.

  • 3.
    Bolmgren, Kjell
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Seed mass and the evolution of fleshy fruits in angiosperms2010In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 119, no 4, p. 707-718Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fleshy fruits, like drupes and berries, have evolved many times through angiosperm history. Two hypotheses suggest that fleshy fruit evolution is related to changes in the seed mass fitness landscape. The reduced dispersal capability following from an increase in seed mass may be counterbalanced by evolution of traits mediating seed dispersal by animals, such as fleshy fruits. Alternatively, increasing availability and capabilities of frugivores promote evolution of fleshy fruits and allow an increase in seed size. Both these hypotheses predict an association between evolution of fleshy fruits and increasing seed size. We investigated patterns of fruit and seed evolution by contrasting seed mass between fleshy and non-fleshy fruited sister clades. We found a consistent association between possession of fleshy fruits and heavier seeds. The direction of fruit type change did not alter this pattern; seed mass was higher in clades where fleshy fruits evolved and lower in clades where non-fleshy fruits evolved, as compared to their sister clades. These patterns are congruent with the predictions from the two hypotheses, but other evidence is needed to distinguish between them. We emphasize the need to integrate studies of seed disperser effectiveness, seed morphology, and plant recruitment success to better understand the frugivores' role in fleshy fruit evolution.

  • 4.
    Bolmgren, Kjell
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Ove, Eriksson
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Fleshy fruits – origins, niche shifts, and diversification.2005In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 109, no 2, p. 255-272Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We examined shifts in fruit type, fleshy vs non-fleshy, in relation to habitat-related niche shifts, species richness, and historical distribution, in 50 phylogenetically independent plant lineages. Each lineage consisted of a sister-group pair of fleshy vs non-fleshy taxa and their outgroup. Niche shifts were assessed based on plant community characteristics. Two niche dimensions assumed to reflect community dynamics were derived: spatial predictability of disturbances and canopy closure. Phylogenetically independent origins of fleshy fruit types (1) were correlated with changes to habitats characterized by more shaded and spatially more unpredictable disturbances, (2) had an opposite effect on species richness in woody and herbaceous clades, enhancing species richness in woody clades, and (3) were continuously distributed over a period covering the last 70 million years. These results support the hypothesis that fleshy fruit evolution is driven by vegetation dynamics, and suggest that the strength of frugivore mediated selection on fleshy fruits increases when recruitment sites are spatially unpredictable and/or characterized by low light conditions.

  • 5.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    The influence of management history and habitat on plant species richness in a rural hemiboreal landscape, Sweden2002In: Landscape Ecology, ISSN 0921-2973, E-ISSN 1572-9761, Vol. 17, no 6, p. 517-529Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We explored patterns of plant species richness at different spatial scales in 14 habitats in a Swedish rural landscape. Effects of physical conditions, and relationships between species richness and management history reaching back to the 17 (th) century were examined, using old cadastral maps and aerial photographs. The most species-rich habitats were dry open semi- natural grasslands, midfield islets and road verges. Alpha diversity (species richness within sites) was highest in habitats on dry substrates (excluding bedrock with sparse pines) and beta diversity (species richness among sites) was highest in moist to wet habitats. Alpha and beta components of species richness tended to be inversely related among habitats with similar species richness. Management history influenced diversity patterns. Areas managed as grasslands in the 17 th and 18 th century harboured more species than areas outside the villages. We also found significant relationships between species richness and soil type. Silt proved to be the most species- rich topsoil (10- 20 cm) in addition to thin soils top of on green- or limestone bedrock. The variation in species richness due to local relief or form of the site also showed significant relationships, where flat surfaces had the highest number of species. In contrast, no significant relationship was found between species richness and aspect. Our study suggests that present- day diversity patterns are much influenced by management history, and that small habitat, e. g., road verges and midfield islets, are important for maintaining species richness.

  • 6. Dahlström, Anna
    et al.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    The History (1620-2003) of Land Use, People and Livestock, and the Relationship to Present Plant Species Diversity in a Rural Landscape in Sweden2006In: Environment and History, ISSN 0967-3407, E-ISSN 1752-7023, Vol. 12, p. 191-212Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The traditional agriculture in Europe favoured numerous plant and animal species that are presently declining. Integrated studies based on various sources are needed in order to unravel the complex relationships between changing landscapes and biological diversity. The objectives of this study were to describe changes in land use during c. 350 years in a Swedish agricultural landscape in relation to changes in human population and livestock, and to analyse relationships between historical land use and present-day plant species diversity. There were only minor long-term changes in land use, population and livestock between 1640 and 1854 in the two studied hamlets, but detailed data 1620-41 showed a large short-term fluctuation in livestock numbers. After 1854 larger changes took place. Grasslands were cultivated and livestock composition changed. After 1932, livestock number decreased and most of the former grazed outland (areas located outside the fenced infields) turned into forest by natural succession. 7 per cent of the study area is still grazed semi-natural grassland. The highest plant species richness is today found on semi-natural grassland with a long continuity of grazing. The distribution of five target species suggests that previous land use still has an important effect today. The majority of their occurrences are remnant populations located in previous outland pastures which are today forests.

  • 7. De Frenne, Pieter
    et al.
    Graae, Bente J.
    Rodriguez-Sanchez, Francisco
    Kolb, Annette
    Chabrerie, Olivier
    Decocq, Guillaume
    De Kort, Hanne
    De Schrijver, An
    Diekmann, Martin
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gruwez, Robert
    Hermy, Martin
    Lenoir, Jonathan
    Plue, Jan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Coomes, David A.
    Verheyen, Kris
    Latitudinal gradients as natural laboratories to infer species' responses to temperature2013In: Journal of Ecology, ISSN 0022-0477, E-ISSN 1365-2745, Vol. 101, no 3, p. 784-795Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Macroclimatic variation along latitudinal gradients provides an excellent natural laboratory to investigate the role of temperature and the potential impacts of climate warming on terrestrial organisms. Here, we review the use of latitudinal gradients for ecological climate change research, in comparison with altitudinal gradients and experimental warming, and illustrate their use and caveats with a meta-analysis of latitudinal intraspecific variation in important life-history traits of vascular plants. We first provide an overview of latitudinal patterns in temperature and other abiotic and biotic environmental variables in terrestrial ecosystems. We then assess the latitudinal intraspecific variation present in five key life-history traits [plant height, specific leaf area (SLA), foliar nitrogen:phosphorus (N:P) stoichiometry, seed mass and root:shoot (R:S) ratio] in natural populations or common garden experiments across a total of 98 plant species. Intraspecific leaf N:P ratio and seed mass significantly decreased with latitude in natural populations. Conversely, the plant height decreased and SLA increased significantly with latitude of population origin in common garden experiments. However, less than a third of the investigated latitudinal transect studies also formally disentangled the effects of temperature from other environmental drivers which potentially hampers the translation from latitudinal effects into a temperature signal. Synthesis. Latitudinal gradients provide a methodological set-up to overcome the drawbacks of other observational and experimental warming methods. Our synthesis indicates that many life-history traits of plants vary with latitude but the translation of latitudinal clines into responses to temperature is a crucial step. Therefore, especially adaptive differentiation of populations and confounding environmental factors other than temperature need to be considered. More generally, integrated approaches of observational studies along temperature gradients, experimental methods and common garden experiments increasingly emerge as the way forward to further our understanding of species and community responses to climate warming.

  • 8. De Frenne, Pieter
    et al.
    Rodriguez-Sanchez, Francisco
    Coomes, David Anthony
    Baeten, Lander
    Verstraeten, Gorik
    Vellend, Mark
    Bernhardt-Roemermann, Markus
    Brown, Carissa D.
    Brunet, Jorg
    Cornelis, Johnny
    Decocq, Guillaume M.
    Dierschke, Hartmut
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gilliam, Frank S.
    Hedl, Radim
    Heinken, Thilo
    Hermy, Martin
    Hommel, Patrick
    Jenkins, Michael A.
    Kelly, Daniel L.
    Kirby, Keith J.
    Mitchell, Fraser J. G.
    Naaf, Tobias
    Newman, Miles
    Peterken, George
    Petrik, Petr
    Schultz, Jan
    Sonnier, Gregory
    Van Calster, Hans
    Waller, Donald M.
    Walther, Gian-Reto
    White, Peter S.
    Woods, Kerry D.
    Wulf, Monika
    Graae, Bente Jessen
    Verheyen, Kris
    Microclimate moderates plant responses to macroclimate warming2013In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 110, no 46, p. 18561-18565Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent global warming is acting across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems to favor species adapted to warmer conditions and/or reduce the abundance of cold-adapted organisms (i.e., thermophilization of communities). Lack of community responses to increased temperature, however, has also been reported for several taxa and regions, suggesting that climatic lags may be frequent. Here we show that microclimatic effects brought about by forest canopy closure can buffer biotic responses to macroclimate warming, thus explaining an apparent climatic lag. Using data from 1,409 vegetation plots in European and North American temperate forests, each surveyed at least twice over an interval of 12-67 y, we document significant thermophilization of ground-layer plant communities. These changes reflect concurrent declines in species adapted to cooler conditions and increases in species adapted to warmer conditions. However, thermophilization, particularly the increase of warm-adapted species, is attenuated in forests whose canopies have become denser, probably reflecting cooler growing-season ground temperatures via increased shading. As standing stocks of trees have increased in many temperate forests in recent decades, local microclimatic effects may commonly be moderating the impacts of macroclimate warming on forest understories. Conversely, increases in harvesting woody biomass-e.g., for bioenergy-may open forest canopies and accelerate thermophilization of temperate forest biodiversity.

  • 9.
    Elmhagen, Bodil
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lindborg, Regina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Implications of climate and land-use change for landscape processes, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and governance2015In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 44, p. s1-S5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This introduction to the Special Issue summarizes the results of 14 scientific articles from the interdisciplinary research program Ekoklim at Stockholm University, Sweden. In this program, we investigate effects of changing climate and land use on landscape processes, biodiversity, and ecosystem services, and analyze issues related to adaptive governance in the face of climate and land-use change. We not only have a research focus on the 22 650 km(2) Norrstrom catchment surrounding lake Malaren in south-central Sweden, but we also conduct research in other Swedish regions. The articles presented here show complex interactions between multiple drivers of change, as well as feedback processes at different spatiotemporal scales. Thus, the Ekoklim program highlights and deals with issues relevant for the future challenges society will face when land-use change interacts with climate change.

  • 10.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    A closer look at the species behind abundance-occupancy relationships2013In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 589-590Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Guedo & Lamb (), in this issue of the Journal of Vegetation Science, used a 35-yr data series from two prairie communities to show that abundance-occupancy relationships change over time. Scrutinizing the details behind this finding, they show that species groups follow different trajectories during succession after disturbance. These results will inspire further species-level studies unraveling mechanisms behind abundance-occupancy relationships.

  • 11.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Evolution of angiosperm seed disperser mutualisms: the timing of origins and their consequences for coevolutionary interactions between angiosperms and frugivores2016In: Biological Reviews, ISSN 1464-7931, E-ISSN 1469-185X, Vol. 91, no 1, p. 168-186Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The origins of interactions between angiosperms and fruit-eating seed dispersers have attracted much attention following a seminal paper on this topic by Tiffney (1984). This review synthesizes evidence pertaining to key events during the evolution of angiosperm-frugivore interactions and suggests some implications of this evidence for interpretations of angiosperm-frugivore coevolution. The most important conclusions are: (i) the diversification of angiosperm seed size and fleshy fruits commenced around 80million years ago (Mya). The diversity of seed sizes, fruit sizes and fruit types peaked in the Eocene around 55 to 50Mya. During this first phase of the interaction, angiosperms and animals evolving frugivory expanded into niche space not previously utilized by these groups, as frugivores and previously not existing fruit traits appeared. From the Eocene until the present, angiosperm-frugivore interactions have occurred within a broad frame of existing niche space, as defined by fruit traits and frugivory, motivating a separation of the angiosperm-frugivore interactions into two phases, before and after the peak in the early Eocene. (ii) The extinct multituberculates were probably the most important frugivores during the early radiation phase of angiosperm seeds and fleshy fruits. Primates and rodents are likely to have been important in the latter part of this first phase. (iii) Flying frugivores, birds and bats, evolved during the second phase, mainly during the Oligocene and Miocene, thus exploiting an existing diversity of fleshy fruits. (iv) A drastic climate shift around the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (around 34Mya) resulted in more semi-open woodland vegetation, creating patchily occurring food resources for frugivores. This promoted evolution of a flying frugivore niche' exploited by birds and bats. In particular, passerines became a dominant frugivore group worldwide. (v) Fleshy fruits evolved at numerous occasions in many angiosperm families, and many of the originations of fleshy fruits occurred well after the peak in the early Eocene. (vi) During periods associated with environmental change altering coevolutionary networks and opening of niche space, reciprocal coevolution may result in strong directional selection formative for both fruit and frugivore evolution. Further evidence is needed to test this hypothesis. Based on the abundance of plant lineages with various forms of fleshy fruits, and the diversity of frugivores, it is suggested that periods of rapid coevolution in angiosperms and frugivores occurred numerous times during the 80million years of angiosperm-frugivore evolution.

  • 12.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. Växtekologi.
    Evolution of seed size and biotic seed dispersal in angiosperms: paleoecological and neoecological evidence2008In: International Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 169, p. 863-870Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Evolution of the seed habit: Is niche construction a missing component?2018In: Ideas in ecology and evolution, ISSN 1918-3178, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Evolution of land plants is one of the major transitions in the history of life on Earth. In this process, evolution of seeds constitutes one of the key events, liberating plants from dependence of free external water for fertilization, thus promoting colonization of dry environments and the build-up of terrestrial ecosystems. Previous explanations of evolution of seeds from heterosporous predecessors have been based on a framework of kin and sexual selection theory. Here I suggest that that niche construction is a missing component in these explanations. During colonization of increasingly drier habitats, the heterosporous life cycle was subjected to strong spatial and temporal gradients in water availability. The ancestral condition of separate niches of the sporophyte and female gametophyte generations changed into a situation where the sporophyte generation provided the means by which female gametophytes could develop, in effect 'constructing' the recruitment niche for the female gametophyte, attached to the sporophyte. Selection favored modifications in the developmental program, altering the relative timing of fertilization and dispersal. Kin and sexual selection processes could then play out in the context of a plant life cycle where fertilization preceded dispersal, eventually forming the seed habit. Niche construction by the sporophyte removed the ecological independence of the two generations; the sporophyte provided the female gametophyte with a recruitment niche, transforming the biphasic life cycle into a unitary life cycle, and promoted an expansion of the ecological niche zone for land plants, eventually leading to a vegetation covering most parts of the land mass.

  • 14.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Historical and Current Niche Construction in an Anthropogenic Biome: Old Cultural Landscapes in Southern Scandinavia2016In: Land, ISSN 2073-445X, E-ISSN 2073-445X, Vol. 5, no 4, article id 42Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Conceptual advances in niche construction theory provide new perspectives and a tool-box for studies of human-environment interactions mediating what is termed anthropogenic biomes. This theory is useful also for studies on how anthropogenic biomes are perceived and valued. This paper addresses these topics using an example: old cultural landscapes in Scandinavia, i.e., landscapes formed by a long, dynamic and continuously changing history of management. Today, remnant habitats of this management history, such as wooded pastures and meadows, are the focus of conservation programs, due to their rich biodiversity and cultural and aesthetic values. After a review of historical niche construction processes, the paper examines current niche construction affecting these old cultural landscapes. Features produced by historical niche construction, e.g., landscape composition and species richness, are in the modern society reinterpreted to become values associated with beauty and heritage and species' intrinsic values. These non-utilitarian motivators now become drivers of new niche construction dynamics, manifested as conservation programs. The paper also examines the possibility to maintain and create new habitats, potentially associated with values emanating from historical landscapes, but in transformed and urbanized landscapes.

  • 15.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. Växtekologi.
    Naturbetesmarkernas växter: Ekologi, artrikedom och bevarandebiologi2007Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 16.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Niche shifts and seed limitation as mechanisms determining seedling recruitment in clonal plants2011In: Preslia (Praha), ISSN 0032-7786, Vol. 83, no 3, p. 301-314Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a review of the evidence on seedling recruitment patterns in clonal forest plants, based on a previously used typology in which the occurrence of seedling recruitment is related to the performance of adult genets: repeated seedling recruitment (RSR), initial seedling recruitment (ISR), recruitment at windows of opportunity (RWO) and systematic spatial variation in seedling dynamics among local populations (RSR/ISR). Generally, seedling recruitment in clonal populations is common and the majority of species have the capacity to recruit within established adult populations. All four recruitment patterns are documented in studies, which include both genetic and demographic evidence that support the existence of a range of variation in seedling recruitment among clonal plants. However, it is suggested that this four-category typology should be replaced by a framework based on two continuously varying factors: the degree of niche overlap between juvenile and adult life cycle stages (uncoupling of juvenile and adult niches implies niche shifts) and of seed limitation during recruitment. This creates a hypothetical continuous space within which all recruitment patterns are placed and stimulates research to focus on identifying mechanisms determining the variation in the recruitment of clonal plants. Some further implications of this framework are briefly discussed.

  • 17.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Species pools in cultural landscapes - niche construction, ecological opportunity and niche shifts2013In: Ecography, ISSN 0906-7590, E-ISSN 1600-0587, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 403-413Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses the ecology of species that were favoured by the development of the cultural landscape in central and NW Europe beginning in the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, with a focus on mechanisms behind species responses to this landscape transformation. A fraction of species may have maintained their realized niches from the pre- agricultural landscape and utilized similar niches created by the landscape transformation. However, I suggest that many species responded by altering their niche relationships, and a conceptual model is proposed for this response, based on niche construction, ecological opportunity and niche shifts. Human-mediated niche construction, associated with clearing of forests and creation of pastures and fields promoted niche shifts towards open habitats, and species exploited the ecological opportunity provided by these created environments. This process was initially purely ecological, i.e. the new habitats must have been included in the original fundamental niche of the species. Two other features of human-mediated niche construction, increased interconnectivity and increased spatial stability of open habitats, resulted in species accumulating in the habitats of the constructed landscape. As a consequence, selection processes were initiated favouring traits promoting fitness in the constructed landscape. This process implied a feed-back to niche shifts, but now also including evolutionary changes in fundamental niches. I briefly discuss whether this model can be applied also to present-day anthropogenic impact on landscapes. A general conclusion is that ecological and evolutionary changes in species niches should be more explicitly considered in modeling and predictions of species response to present-day landscape and land-use changes.

  • 18.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Vegetation change and eco-evolutionary dynamics2014In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 25, no 5, p. 1141-1147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Question: Eco-evolutionary dynamics is a concept encapsulating a feedback between ecology and evolution, acting on short ecological time-scales. Recent studies suggest that such dynamics have been generally over-looked. The objective of this paper is to examine how eco-evolutionary dynamics may contribute to vegetation science. Location: Global. Methods: In this paper I discuss eco-evolutionary dynamics in the context of vegetation science, with a focus on effects derived from human-mediated niche construction, manifested as new habitats, non-native species, and changing connectivity and spatial configuration of habitats. Results and Conclusions: I suggest that eco-evolutionary dynamics have the potential to influence plant community composition and assembly, and thus that eco-evolutionary dynamics should become focus of studies in vegetation science.

  • 19.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    What is biological cultural heritage and why should we care about it? An example from Swedish rural landscapes and forests2018In: Nature Conservation, ISSN 1314-6947, E-ISSN 1314-3301, no 28, p. 1-32Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is currently a growing concern that biocultural heritage is threatened in many landscapes. This paper focuses on biological cultural heritage, broadly meaning biological cultural traces that are considered as heritage, but leaving out other aspects of the biocultural heritage concept. An operational definition of biological cultural heritage (BCH) is suggested, based on niche construction theory: biological manifestations of culture, reflecting indirect or intentional effects, or domesticated landscapes, resulting from historical human niche construction. Some factors that influence recognition of BCH are discussed, using a comparison between Swedish open to semi-open vs. forested landscapes. While the former landscapes are generally associated with biological cultural values, BCH is generally over-looked in forests. Two main reasons for this are suggested: loss of cultural memory and a perception of forests as wilderness. A conclusion is that recognition of BCH is essential for guiding development of biological conservation programmes in forests, irrespective of whether the conservation goal is to focus on culturally impacted forests or to conserve what is considered as close to pristine forests. Furthermore, recognising BCH in forests will promote interest and learning of the history of forests and their values and will be informative for developing conservation programmes for all biota in forests, not only those that historically were favoured by culture. Hence, there is no inherent conflict between preserving relatively untouched forests and those with remaining traces of pre-industrial forest management. The recognition of BCH in forests will inspire and promote further integration of cultural and natural heritage research.

  • 20.
    Eriksson, Ove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Arnell, Matilda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Niche construction, entanglement and landscape domestication in Scandinavian infield systems2017In: Landscape research, ISSN 0142-6397, E-ISSN 1469-9710, Vol. 42, no 1, p. 78-88Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Domesticated landscapes are formed by complex social and ecological interactions. We study present-day remnants of species-rich hay meadows and pastures in Scandinavia, with historical roots in former infield systems', initially developed during the first centuries AD and maintained until the modernisation of agriculture during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Infield systems include infields, enclosed areas near farms incorporating hay meadows and crop fields, and surrounding outlying land used mainly for grazing. We interpret the development of Scandinavian infield systems and their relationship to vegetation and human culture using concepts of niche construction and entanglement. A key issue revolves around spatio-temporal stabilisation of managed grasslands, in turn related to a complex of interactions between cultural development (e.g. perceptions of land ownership and management practices) and ecological patterns (e.g. species richness). We propose that niche construction and entanglement are useful concepts bridging studies in social history and ecology, and for developing conservation programmes in cultural landscapes.

  • 21.
    Eriksson, Ove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Bolmgren, Kjell
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
    Westin, Anna
    Lennartsson, Tommy
    Historic hay cutting dates from Sweden 1873-1951 and their implications for conservation management of species-rich meadows2015In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 184, p. 100-107Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Semi-natural hay meadows are species rich habitats, formed by a long history of management and they have experienced a drastic decline all over Europe. There is a vast literature on conservation and species diversity of semi-natural hay-meadows, but very limited information on historic timing of hay cutting. We analyzed data collected between 1873 and 1951 on hay cutting dates and phenology of six plant species from farms distributed across Sweden. The data set comprised 16,015 observations from 175 sites. Results show that date of start and end of hay cutting varied across Sweden. The start of hay cutting was generally delayed by 2.2 days per latitudinal degree and 1.5 days per 100 m altitude, while the end of hay cutting was generally delayed by 2.9 days per latitudinal degree and 2.5 days per 100 m altitude. The average hay cutting period was 18.5 +/- 6.6 days, and became slightly shorter northwards. Site-specific factors had a great impact on when hay cutting was performed, as indicated by a significant correlation between flowering (and leafing) phenology in other species and start date of hay cutting. Today, management for conservation is usually related to a calendar date (e.g. regulated in eligibility criteria and requirements for payment in agri-environment programs in EU). In order to mimic historic management that formed this habitat, management should instead account for latitude and altitude, between-year variation in timing of hay cutting, variation in both start and end dates of hay cutting and if possible local phenological conditions.

  • 22.
    Eriksson, Ove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Bruun, Hans Henrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Land-use history and fragmentation of traditionally managed grasslands in Scandinavia2002In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 13, no 5, p. 743-748Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Plants associated with traditional agricultural landscapes in northern Europe and Scandinavia are subjected to drastic habitat fragmentation. In this paper we discuss species response to fragmentation, against a background of vegetation and land-use history. Recent evidence suggests that grassland-forest mosaics have been prevalent long before the onset of human agriculture. We suggest that the creation of infield meadows and outland grazing (during the Iron Age) increased the amount and spatial predictability of grasslands, resulting in plant communities with exceptionally high species densities. Thus, distribution of plant species in the present-day landscape reflects historical land-use. This holds also when traditional management has ceased, due to a slow response by many species to abandonment and fragmentation. The distribution patterns are thus not in equilibrium with the present habitat distribution. Fragmentation influences remaining semi-natural grasslands such that species density is likely to decline as a result of local extinctions and invasion by habitat generalists. However, species that for a long time have been subjected to changing mosaic landscapes may be more resistant to fragmentation than is usually believed. Conservation should focus not only on 'hot-spots' with high species richness, but also consider species dynamics in a landscape context.

  • 23.
    Eriksson, Ove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. Växtekologi.
    Ehrlén, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. Växtekologi.
    Seedling recruitment and population ecology2008In: Seedling Ecology and Evolution, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge , 2008, p. 239-254Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Eriksson, Ove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Glav Lundin, Linnea
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    'Gooseberry is the only thing left' - a study of declining biological cultural heritage at abandoned crofts in the province of Sodermanland, Sweden2020In: International Journal of Heritage Studies (IJHS), ISSN 1352-7258, E-ISSN 1470-3610Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a study about cultivated and 'wild' plants as components of the material heritage of crofters, an overlooked group of people in former agrarian landscapes. Despite abundant remains of crofts in Sweden, inhabited during the period from the eighteenth century until the 1940s, crofters have been subject to few studies. We used a survey conducted 1967 of botanical remains at abandoned croft as a basis for a re-survey in 2019. As with all biological traces of former human activities, cultivated plants and wild species favoured by former management ultimately disappear, but with long delays. We describe the patterns of this decline. In general, about a third of the species were gone after 52 years. The rate of disappearance of single species occurrences was about 1% annually. We discuss the interpretation of botanical remains from since long abandoned crofts in the context of heritage. In some cases, the botanical remains were the only material evidence left. We conclude that the material heritage of crofters deserves further studies and that botanical remains at abandoned crofts should be documented and at least at some sites protected.

  • 25.
    Eriksson, Ove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Kainulainen, Kent
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    The evolutionary ecology of dust seeds2011In: Perspectives in plant ecology, evolution and systematics, ISSN 1433-8319, E-ISSN 1618-0437, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 73-87Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dust seeds are the smallest existing seeds in angiosperms. This paper summarizes taxonomic distribution, phylogeny, ontogeny, morphology, and recruitment behavior of dust seeds, concluding with a general hypothesis on the evolution of dust seeds. Plants with dust seeds depend on external sources of organic carbon for seedling development and are thus parasitic during recruitment. Species with dust seeds are either mycoheterotrophic (fully or partially) or parasitic on plants. Dust seeds are a derived feature which has evolved independently in at least 12 families (Burmanniaceae, Corsiaceae, Orchidaceae, Triuridaceae, Petrosaviaceae, Ericaceae, Gentianaceae, Polygalaceae, Orobanchaceae, Rubiaceae, Buddlejaceae and Gesneriaceae). For the three latter families parasitic behavior during recruitment has not yet been described, and should be considered as a hypothesis. Many, but not all, dust seeds possess features that are likely to have been selected for increasing buoyancy in air or water. Selection for maximal fecundity at the expense of reducing maternal resources per seed is the probable driver of dust seed evolution. As endosperm was reduced, undifferentiated embryo evolved as a by-product due to endosperm mediated control of embryo development. Ultimately, seed size reduction passed a threshold where resource acquisition became dependent on external hosts. In order to embark on an evolutionary trajectory towards host dependence, facultative parasitism must have been established in ancestral lineages. Mycoheterotrophic and mixotrophic plants probably evolved along with the rise of angiosperm dominated tropical forests beginning in the Late Cretaceous. It is suggested that selection for increasing seed size associated with the expansion of modern type tropical forests spurred a competition/colonization trade-off initiating a reversed evolutionary trajectory towards smaller seeds. A different process is suggested for true parasites with dust seeds (Orobanchaceae), where the driver may have been the Mid-Tertiary expansion of grasslands, creating opportunities to exploit grasses and herbs. It is suggested that inequality and asymmetry in resource monopolization in ecosystems promote evolution of subordinate life strategies, and possession of dust seeds is considered as a subordinate strategy in plant communities dominated by other plant strategies. This escape route for ecological losers eventually promoted evolution of one of the most diverse groups of plants, the orchids.

  • 26.
    Eriksson, Ove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Persson, Lennart
    Umeå university.
    A spatial dimension of ecology: Ilkka Hanski Crafoord Laureate2011In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, ISSN 0044-7447, Vol. 40, no 3, p. 247-247Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 27. Flores, Olivier
    et al.
    Garnier, Eric
    Wright, Ian J.
    Reich, Peter B.
    Pierce, Simon
    Diaz, Sandra
    Pakeman, Robin J.
    Rusch, Graciela M.
    Bernard-Verdier, Maud
    Testi, Baptiste
    Bakker, Jan P.
    Bekker, Renee M.
    Cerabolini, Bruno E. L.
    Ceriani, Roberta M.
    Cornu, Guillaume
    Cruz, Pablo
    Delcamp, Matthieu
    Dolezal, Jiri
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Fayolle, Adeline
    Freitas, Helena
    Golodets, Carly
    Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie
    Hodgson, John G.
    Brusa, Guido
    Kleyer, Michael
    Kunzmann, Dieter
    Lavorel, Sandra
    Papanastasis, Vasilios P.
    Perez-Harguindeguy, Natalia
    Vendramini, Fernanda
    Weiher, Evan
    An evolutionary perspective on leaf economics: phylogenetics of leaf mass per area in vascular plants2014In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 4, no 14, p. 2799-2811Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In plant leaves, resource use follows a trade-off between rapid resource capture and conservative storage. This worldwide leaf economics spectrum consists of a suite of intercorrelated leaf traits, among which leaf mass per area, LMA, is one of the most fundamental as it indicates the cost of leaf construction and light-interception borne by plants. We conducted a broad-scale analysis of the evolutionary history of LMA across a large dataset of 5401 vascular plant species. The phylogenetic signal in LMA displayed low but significant conservatism, that is, leaf economics tended to be more similar among close relatives than expected by chance alone. Models of trait evolution indicated that LMA evolved under weak stabilizing selection. Moreover, results suggest that different optimal phenotypes evolved among large clades within which extremes tended to be selected against. Conservatism in LMA was strongly related to growth form, as were selection intensity and phenotypic evolutionary rates: woody plants showed higher conservatism in relation to stronger stabilizing selection and lower evolutionary rates compared to herbaceous taxa. The evolutionary history of LMA thus paints different evolutionary trajectories of vascular plant species across clades, revealing the coordination of leaf trait evolution with growth forms in response to varying selection regimes.

  • 28.
    Forslund, Helena
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Kautsky, Lena
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Grazing and geographic range of the Baltic seaweed Fucus radicans (Phaeophyceae)2012In: Marine Biology Research, ISSN 1745-1000, E-ISSN 1745-1019, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 322-330Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The range of the recently described seaweed Fucus radicans is limited to the Bothnian Sea and the northern Baltic Sea while the range of the sympatric Fucus vesiculosus extends outside the Baltic Sea. Here we present results from a survey of the distribution and relative abundance of F. radicans and F. vesiculosus and abundance of associated herbivores along the range of F. radicans in Sweden. Both Fucus species were equally common. Herbivores were found in significantly higher numbers on F. radicans. The range of the herbivore Idotea balthica overlaps the southern range of F. radicans and is known to decrease the abundance of fucoids through grazing. We therefore hypothesized that if I. balthica has a preference for F. radicans it could affect the range of F. radicans. To test the preference of I. balthica we performed a bioassay where it had a choice between F. radicans and F. vesiculosus. Another bioassay was performed with the most common herbivore in our survey, Gammarus spp. Both herbivores consumed significantly more F. radicans than F. vesiculosus. Our results indicate that grazing may be an important factor in limiting the southern range of F. radicans along the Swedish coast.

  • 29. Garnier, Eric
    et al.
    Lavorel, Sandra
    Ansquer, P
    Castro, H
    Cruz, P
    Dolezal, J
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. Växtekologi.
    Fortunel, C
    Freitas, H
    Golodets, C
    Grigulis, K
    Jouany, C
    Kazakou, E
    Kigel, J
    Kleyer, M
    Lehsten, V
    Leps, J
    Meier, T
    Pakeman, R
    Papadimitriou, M
    Papanastasis, V
    Quested, Helen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. Växtekologi.
    Quetier, F
    Robson, M
    Roumet, C
    Rusch, G
    Skarpe, C
    Sternberg, M
    Theau, J-P
    Thebault, A
    Vile, D
    Zarovali, M
    Assessing the effects of land use change on plant traits, communities and ecosystem functioning in grasslands: A standardized methodology and lessons from an application to 11 European sites2007In: Annals of Botany, Vol. 99, p. 967-985Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 30. Herben, T
    et al.
    Münzbergová, Z
    Mildén, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Ehrlén, Johan
    Cousins, Sara A O
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Longterm spatial dynamics of Succisa pratensis in a changing rural landscape: linking dynamical modelling with historical maps2006In: Journal of Ecology, ISSN 0022-0477, E-ISSN 1365-2745, Vol. 94, no 1, p. 131-143Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We attempt to explain the current distribution of a long-lived perennial plant, Succisa pratensis, in a rural landscape in southern Sweden by linking its population biology with documented changes in the landscape, using a dynamical, spatially explicit model incorporating population dynamics and spatial spreading of the plant. Changes in the landscape were inferred from historical maps (1850 and 1900) and aerial photographs (1945 and 2001).

     

    We tested whether predictions for the current species distribution are affected by assumptions about its early 19th century distribution, to determine whether recent history and current processes are dominant, and how past landscape changes determine current distributions.

     

    Initial conditions influence predictions of current distribution, suggesting that the current distribution still partly reflects the distribution of the species in the early 19th century. A period of 150 years is too short for Succisa to have spread extensively if dispersal parameters are given realistic values.

     

    Simulations in which present-day land-use patterns were imposed at earlier dates showed that changes in landscape structure over the past 175 years also had a strong effect on the present-day habitat occupancy and population sizes of Succisa.

     

    The dominant process for Succisanow is extinction from marginal habitats. It is therefore likely that the (relatively) high present-day occupation patterns are still due to much larger areas having been available in the past rather than to successful dispersal. Although the species has responded to landscape changes, there is little evidence of population sizes reaching equilibrium.

     

    Our approach shows that the wealth of landscape information available from historical maps can be linked with data on population biology by means of dynamical models that can make predictions about species dynamics.

  • 31.
    Johansson, Veronika A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Bahram, M.
    Tedersoo, L.
    Koljalg, U.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Specificity of fungal associations of Pyroleae and Monotropa hypopitys during germination and seedling development2017In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 26, no 9, p. 2591-2604Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mycoheterotrophic plants obtain organic carbon from associated mycorrhizal fungi, fully or partially. Angiosperms with this form of nutrition possess exceptionally small 'dust seeds' which after germination develop 'seedlings' that remain subterranean for several years, fully dependent on fungi for supply of carbon. Mycoheterotrophs which as adults have photosynthesis thus develop from full to partial mycoheterotrophy, or autotrophy, during ontogeny. Mycoheterotrophic plants may represent a gradient of variation in a parasitism-mutualism continuum, both among and within species. Previous studies on plant-fungal associations in mycoheterotrophs have focused on either germination or the adult life stages of the plant. Much less is known about the fungal associations during development of the subterranean seedlings. We investigated germination and seedling development and the diversity of fungi associated with germinating seeds and subterranean seedlings (juveniles) in five Monotropoideae (Ericaceae) species, the full mycoheterotroph Monotropa hypopitys and the putatively partial mycoheterotrophs Pyrola chlorantha, P. rotundifolia, Moneses uniflora and Chimaphila umbellata. Seedlings retrieved from seed sowing experiments in the field were used to examine diversity of fungal associates, using pyrosequencing analysis of ITS2 region for fungal identification. The investigated species varied with regard to germination, seedling development and diversity of associated fungi during juvenile ontogeny. Results suggest that fungal host specificity increases during juvenile ontogeny, most pronounced in the fully mycoheterotrophic species, but a narrowing of fungal associates was found also in two partially mycoheterotrophic species. We suggest that variation in specificity of associated fungi during seedling ontogeny in mycoheterotrophs represents ongoing evolution along a parasitism-mutualism continuum.

  • 32.
    Johansson, Veronika A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Bahram, Mohammad
    Tedersoo, Leho
    Kõljalg, Urmas
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with Pyroleae and  Monotropa hypopitys during germination and seedling developmentManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 33.
    Johansson, Veronika A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Remnant Populations and Plant Functional Traits in Abandoned Semi-Natural Grasslands2011In: Folia Geobotanica, ISSN 1211-9520, E-ISSN 1874-9348, Vol. 46, no 2-3, p. 165-179Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although semi-natural grasslands in Europe are declining there is often a time delay in the local extinction of grassland species due to development of remnant populations, i.e., populations with an extended persistence despite a negative growth rate. The objectives of this study were to examine the occurrence of remnant populations after abandonment of semi-natural grasslands and to examine functional traits of plants associated with the development of remnant populations. We surveyed six managed semi-natural grasslands and 20 former semi-natural grasslands where management ceased 60-100 years ago, and assessed species response to abandonment, assuming a space-for-time substitution. The response of species was related to nine traits representing life cycle, clonality, leaf traits, seed dispersal and seed mass. Of the 67 species for which data allowed analysis, 44 species declined after grassland abandonment but still occurred at the sites, probably as remnant populations. Five traits were associated with the response to abandonment. The declining but still occurring species were characterized by high plant height, a perennial life form, possession of a perennial bud bank, high clonal ability, and lack of dispersal attributes promoting long-distance dispersal. Traits allowing plants to maintain populations by utilizing only a part of their life cycle, such as clonal propagation, are most important for the capacity to develop remnant populations and delay local extinction. A considerable fraction of the species inhabiting semi-natural grasslands maintain what is most likely remnant populations after more than 60 years of spontaneous succession from managed semi-natural grasslands to forest.

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  • 34.
    Johansson, Veronika A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Recruitment limitation, germination of dust seeds, and early development of underground seedlings in six Pyroleae species2013In: Botany, ISSN 1916-2790, E-ISSN 1916-2804, Vol. 91, no 1, p. 17-24Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated recruitment of six mixotrophic Pyroleae species in relation to soil and adult presence. Pyroleae have dust seeds containing minimal nutrient reserves, and subterranean seedlings are mycoheterotrophic needing fungal hosts for germination and development. Germination and seedling development were studied by retrieving seed bags that had been placed within plots with adults present and at unoccupied control plots. There are two main alternatives to what limits recruitment of plants, seed limitation or microsite limitation. Results suggested that a combination of microsite and seed limitation was important for all investigated species. Microsite availability was the main limiting factor for Chimaphila umbellata (L.) W. P. C. Barton, Orthilia secunda (L.) House, and Pyrola chlorantha Sw., whereas seed availability was the main limiting factor for Pyrola minor L. For Moneses uniflora L. A. Gray and Pyrola rotundifolia L., it was not clear whether microsite or seed limitation dominated. Growth of seedlings responded positively to adult presence (O. secunda and P. minor), whereas others were negatively affected (M. uniflora and P. chlorantha). Increased levels of soil nutrients (N and P) had a negative effect on seedling growth in C. umbellata and P. chlorantha. These results provide the first evidence of the importance of microsite and seed limitation for germination and development of seedlings of Pyroleae species.

  • 35.
    Johansson, Veronika A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Mikusinska, Anna
    Ekblad, Alf
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Partial mycoheterotrophy in Pyroleae: nitrogen and carbon stable isotope signatures during development from seedling to adult2015In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 177, no 1, p. 203-211Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mycoheterotrophic plants (MHP) are divided into non-photosynthesizing full MHP and green-leaved partial or initial MHP. We investigated 13C and 15N isotope enrichment in five putatively partial MHP species in the tribe Pyroleae (Ericaceae): Chimaphila umbellata, Moneses uniflora, Orthilia secunda, Pyrola chlorantha and Pyrola minor, sampled from forest sites on Öland, Sweden. For M. uniflora and P. chlorantha, we investigated isotope signatures of subterranean seedlings (which are mycoheterotrophic), to examine how the use of seedlings instead of full MHP species (Hypopitys monotropa) as reference species affects the assessment of partial mycoheterotrophy. Our main findings were as follows: (1) All investigated Pyroleae species were enriched in 15N compared to autotrophic reference plants. (2) significant fungal-derived C among the Pyroleae species was found for O. secunda and P. chlorantha. For the remaining species of C. umbellata, M. uniflora and P. minor, isotope signatures suggested adult autotrophy. (3) C and N gains, calculated using seedlings as a full MHP reference, yielded qualitatively similar results as when using H. monotropa as a reference. However, the estimated differences in C and N gains became larger when using seedlings as an MHP reference. (4) A previously unknown interspecific variation in isotope signature occurs during early ontogeny, from seed production to developing seedlings. Our findings suggest that there is a variation among Pyroleae species concerning partial mycoheterotrophy in adults. Adult autotrophy may be most common in Pyroleae species, and these species may not be as dependent on fungal-derived nutrients as some green orchids.

  • 36.
    Johansson, Veronika A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Mueller, Gregor
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Dust seed production and dispersal in Swedish Pyroleae species2014In: Nordic Journal of Botany, ISSN 0107-055X, E-ISSN 1756-1051, Vol. 32, no 2, p. 209-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dust seeds are the smallest seeds in angiosperms weighing just about a few micrograms. These seeds are characteristic of most orchids, and several studies have been performed on seed features, fecundity and dispersal of orchid dust seeds. In this study we examine seed features, seed production and seed dispersal in another plant group with dust seeds, the Pyroleae (Monotropoideae, Ericaceae), focusing on six species: Pyrola chlorantha, P. minor, P. rotundifolia, Chimaphila umbellata, Moneses uniflora and Orthilia secunda. Seed production per capsule among these species was in the range between ca 1000 and 7800, and seed production per capsule bearing shoot was in the range between ca 7000 and 60 000. Combining our results with published information on pollen-ovule ratios suggests that these Pyroleae species have a generally efficient pollination system. The most fecund species was P. minor, the only species among the investigated that is probably largely self-pollinating. The investigated Pyroleae species have a seed production comparable to the less fecund orchid species. We studied seed dispersal in the field in one of the species, P. chlorantha. Despite the extremely small and potentially buoyant seeds, the vast majority of seeds are deposited close to the seed source, within a few meters. Further studies on the recruitment ecology of the investigated Pyroleae species are currently under way.

  • 37. Kleyer, Michael
    et al.
    Bekker, RM
    Knevel, IC
    Bakker, JP
    Thompson, K
    Sonnenschein, M
    Poschlod, P
    van Groenendael, JM
    Klimes, L
    Klimesova, J
    Klotz, S
    Rusch, G
    Hermy, M
    Adriens, D
    Boedeltje, G
    Bossuyt, B
    Dannemann, A
    Endels, P
    Götzenberger, L
    Hodgson, JG
    Jackel, A-K
    Kuhn, I
    Kunzmann, D
    Ozinga, WA
    Römermann, C
    Stadler, M
    Schlegelmilch, J
    Steendam, HJ
    Tackenberg, O
    Wilmann, B
    Cornelissen, JHC
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. Växtekologi.
    Garnier, E
    Peco, B
    The LEDA traitbase: a database of plant life-history traits of North West Europe2008In: Journal of Ecology, Vol. 96, p. 1266-1274Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 38.
    Kolb, Annette
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. växtekologi.
    Ehrlén, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. växtekologi.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. växtekologi.
    Ecological and evolutionary consequences of spatial and temporal variation in pre-dispersal seed predation.2007In: Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, Vol. 9, p. 79-100Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 39.
    Lindborg, Regina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Bengtsson, Jan
    Berg, Åke
    Cousins, Sara A.O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Gustafsson, Tomas
    Hasund, Knut Per
    Lenoir, Lisette
    Pihlgren, Aina
    Sjödin, Erik
    Stenseke, Marie
    A landscape perspective on conservation of semi-natural grasslands.2008In: AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT, ISSN 0167-8809, Vol. 125, no 1-4, p. 213-222Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Current agri-environmental schemes and subsidies for conservation and restoration of semi-natural grasslands do not explicitly assess land use changes affecting whole landscapes, but have so far focused on single objects and small areas. In this paper, we discuss a landscape perspective versus a "single object" perspective when conserving semi-natural grassland in agricultural landscapes. The focus is on the values biodiversity, cultural heritage, a vital countryside, and effects on economy when land use changes. We conclude that when land use change in the landscape surrounding an object, important additional effects on the different values are found. For example, a countryside where animals graze former arable fields and where marginal habitats are managed will have a positive effect, not only on the biodiversity associated to semi-natural grasslands, but also for the image of a vital and dynamic landscape. An increased number of roads, on the other hand, may negatively affect cultural heritage and decrease biodiversity in grasslands, leading to negative effects on the value of common goods through isolation. Placing objects in a larger spatial context and combining several different aspects into a landscape perspective, will improve long-term preservation of values associated to semi-natural grasslands.

  • 40.
    Lindborg, Regina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Plant species response to land-use change - Campanula rotundifolia, Primula veris and Rhinanthus minor2005In: Ecography, ISSN 0906-7590, E-ISSN 1600-0587, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 29-36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Land use change is a crucial driver behind species loss at the landscape scale. Hence, from a conservation perspective, species response to habitat degradation or improvement of habitat quality, is important to examine. By using indicator species it may be possible to monitor long-term survival of local populations associated with land use change. In this study we examined three potential indicator (response) species for species richness and composition in Scandinavian semi-natural grassland communities: Campanula rotundifolia, Primula veris and Rhinanthus minor. With field inventories and experiments we examined their response to present land use, habitat degradation and improvement of local habitat quality. At the time scale examined, C. rotundifolia was the only species responding to both habitat degradation and improvement of habitat quality. Neither R. minor nor P. veris responded positively to habitat improvements although both responded rapidly to direct negative changes in habitat quality. Even though C. rotundifolia responded quickly to habitat degradation, it did not disappear completely from the sites. Instead, the population structure changed in terms of decreased population size and flowering frequency. It also showed an ability to form remnant populations which may increase resilience of local habitats. Although P. veris and especially R. minor responded rapidly to negative environmental changes and may be useful as early indicators of land use change, it is desirable that indicators respond to both degradation and improvement of habitat quality. Thus, C. rotundifolia is a better response species for monitoring effects of land use change and conservation measures, provided that both local and regional population dynamics are monitored over a long time period.

  • 41.
    Lindborg, Regina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Effects of restoration on plant species richness and composition in Scandinavian semi-natural grasslands2004In: Restoration Ecology, ISSN 1061-2971, E-ISSN 1526-100X, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 318-326Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Plant species richness in rural landscapes of northern Europe has been positively influenced by traditional management for millennia. Owing to abandonment of these practices, the number of species-rich semi-natural grasslands has decreased, and remaining habitats suffer from deterioration, fragmentation, and plant species decline. To prevent further extinctions, restoration efforts have increased during the last decades, by reintroducing grazing in former semi-natural grasslands. To assess the ecological factors that might influence the outcome of such restorations, we made a survey of semi-natural grasslands in Sweden that have been restored during the last decade. We investigated how plant species richness, species density, species composition, and abundance of 10 species that are indicators of grazing are affected by (1) the size of the restored site, (2) the time between abandonment of grazing and restoration, (3) the time elapsed since restoration, and (4) the abundance of trees and shrubs at the restored site. Only two factors, abundance of trees and shrubs and time since restoration, were positively associated with total species richness and species density per meter square at restored sites. Variation in species composition among restored sites was not related to any of the investigated factors. Species composition was relatively similar among sites, except in mesic/wet grasslands. The investigated factors had small effects on the abundance of the grazing-indicator species. Only Campanula rotundifolia responded to restoration with increasing abundance and may thus be a suitable indicator of improved habitat quality. In conclusion, positive effects on species richness may appear relatively soon after restoration, but rare, short-lived species are still absent. Therefore, remnant populations in surrounding areas may be important in fully recreating former species richness and composition.

  • 42.
    Lindborg, Regina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Historical landscape connectivity affects present plant species diversity2004In: Ecology, ISSN 0012-9658, E-ISSN 1939-9170, Vol. 85, no 7, p. 1840-1845Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transformation of landscapes is considered to be one of the main drivers behind species loss, regionally and globally. Theory and empirical studies suggest that landscape structure influences species diversity in many habitats. These effects may be manifested at different spatial scales depending on species response to landscape heterogeneity. A similar, but often neglected, scaling issue concerns the temporal scale of species response to landscape change. In this study, we found time lags of 50-100 years in the response of plant species diversity to changing configuration of habitats in the landscape. When analyzing remnants of traditionally managed seminatural grasslands in Sweden, we found that species diversity was not related to present-day connectivity of the investigated sites, irrespective of spatial scale (3.1-12.5 km(2)). However, when using maps depicting landscapes 50 and 100 years ago, respectively, strong positive effects of habitat connectivity appeared, at increasing spatial scale for the older landscapes. Thus, analyses of how species diversity relates to present-day landscapes may be misleading, and future species loss may be expected even if the present landscape is maint.

  • 43.
    Lindgren, Jessica
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Kimberley, Adam
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Cousins, Sara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Habitat complementary supports pollinators and frugivores in agricultural landscapesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Homogenization of land uses causes a decline in biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. The species composition of plants in small remnant habitats may overlap to some extent with species composition in decreasing species-rich key habitats, e.g. semi-natural grasslands, and therefore buffer the decline of species in intensively managed landscapes. Since plant species composition determines many ecosystem functions, small remnant habitats may provide essential contributions to ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes where semi-natural grasslands are rare.

    Questions: To what extent does the plant community in forest edges and on midfield islets (remnant habitats of grasslands) overlap in composition with the plant species composition in semi-natural grasslands?

    How important are these two types of remnant habitats for harboring plant communities utilized by a diversity of pollinators and frugivores, and does this importance vary during the growing season? And finally, does surrounding landscape type (agricultural intensity) or local environment (canopy openness) affect the function of the plant community characteristic’s associated with attracting frugivorous and pollinators?

    Methods: We sampled plants, including trees and shrubs, and in 13 semi-natural grasslands, 50 forest edges and 132 midfield islets in agricultural landscapes in south-eastern Sweden. We investigated distribution and richness of plant traits (fleshy vs. dry fruits, flower morphology) in relation to habitat type, openness and surrounding agricultural management.

    Results: Midfield islets had higher richness of plant species and flower shapes, and were more similar in composition to semi-natural grassland than forest edges. Species richness in midfield islets increased with habitat openness and in more intensively used (more open) agricultural landscapes. Midfield islets are important habitats for a diversity of nectar/pollen providing flowers from mid-summer and later in the growing season. Forest edges have a higher frequency of fleshy fruits and are an important source of nectar/pollen early in the season.

    Conclusions: In landscapes with few other semi-natural habitats, small remnant habitats can contribute to species richness of plants, fleshy fruits and flower shapes. However they are not able to fully compensate for the decrease of semi-natural grasslands. Viewed over the whole growing season, several different habitats are needed to maintain foraging possibilities for pollinators in the landscape. Through habitat complementarity, midfield islets and forest edges with deciduous trees and shrubs, contribute to this function.

  • 44.
    Lindgren, Åsa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Moen, Jon
    The impact of disturbance and seed availability on germination in alpine vegetation in the Scandinavian mountains2007In: Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research, ISSN 1523-0430, E-ISSN 1938-4246, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 449-454Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The availability of seeds and microsites are limiting factors for many plant species of different vegetation types. We have investigated the existence of such limitations in two habitats, an alpine heath and a subalpine birch forest, where abiotic factors are hypothesized to be the main determining factor of plant species distributions. Both habitats are characterized by a short growing season and cold temperatures, and the alpine heath is also constrained by low productivity. A seed addition experiment including six vascular plants, selected by different functional traits and occurrence, showed that seed limitation was an important factor in these habitats. Removal of the aboveground biomass (controlled disturbance) increased germination only for some species. The effect of reindeer presence was found to be of less importance, probably due to low and varying densities of reindeer. To conclude, we found that seed limitation was the most important factor limiting the distribution of our studied species in the two alpine environments.

  • 45.
    Lundell, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Population size and reproduction in the declining endangered forest plant Chimaphila umbellata in Sweden2015In: Folia Geobotanica, ISSN 1211-9520, E-ISSN 1874-9348, Vol. 50, no 1, p. 13-23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The rare forest plant Chimaphila umbellata (Ericaceae) has decreased drastically during the last century, approximately by 80 % in some regions in Sweden. We examined associations between various biotic and abiotic conditions related to changes in forest management and nitrogen deposition, and C. umbellata population size, flowering frequency, fruit set and seed production. Environmental conditions at 38 C. umbellata sites in the provinces of Uppland and Sodermanland, Sweden, included light inflow, cover of competitive species, soil nitrogen, continuity of forest cover and soil texture. The results suggested that population size was negatively affected by cover of competitive species. Population size was not related to light availability although increased shading was associated with decreased flowering frequency. Fruit set was negatively affected by cover of competitive species, and seed production decreased with increasing soil nitrogen content. Fruit set and seed production increased with increasing population size. This study shows that denser forest stands and increased abundance of Vaccinium myrtillus and graminoid species may have strong negative effects on C. umbellata. This species' longevity and clonal propagation may buffer some negative impacts, which in turn might contribute to an extinction debt. To maintain viable populations of Chimaphila umbellata in Swedish forests, there is a need for targeted management in forest habitats, i.e. reintroducing moderate disturbance regimes to reduce competition and increase light inflow.

  • 46.
    Lönnberg, Karin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Relationships between intra-specific variation in seed size and recruitment in four species in two contrasting habitats2013In: Plant Biology, ISSN 1435-8603, E-ISSN 1438-8677, Vol. 15, no 3, p. 601-606Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Large seeds contain more stored resources, and seedlings germinating from large seeds generally cope better with environmental stresses such as shading, competition and thick litter layers, than seedlings germinating from small seeds. A pattern with small-seeded species being associated with open habitats and large-seeded species being associated with closed (shaded) habitats has been suggested and supported by comparative studies. However, few studies have assessed the intra-specific relationship between seed size and recruitment, comparing plant communities differing in canopy cover. Here, seeds from four plant species commonly occurring in ecotones between open and closed habitats (Convallaria majalis, Frangula alnus, Prunus padus and Prunus spinosa) were weighed and sown individually (3200 seeds per species) in open and closed-canopy sites, and seedling emergence and survival recorded over 3 years. Our results show a generally positive, albeit weak, relationship between seed size and recruitment. In only one of the species, C. majalis, was there an association between closed canopy habitat and a positive seed size effect on recruitment. We conclude that there is a weak selection gradient favouring larger seeds, but that this selection gradient is not clearly related to habitat.

  • 47.
    Lönnberg, Karin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Rules of the seed size game: contests between large-seeded and small-seeded species2013In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 122, no 7, p. 1080-1084Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The coexistence of multiple seed size strategies within plant communities have been considered puzzling, based on a theoretical expectation of the existence of an optimal seed size under each set of specific environmental conditions. A model aimed at explaining the coexistence of different seed sizes has been suggested, where a seed size – seed number trade-off is connected to a trade-off between competition and colonization, leading to a competitive advantage in larger-seeded species and a colonization advantage in smaller-seeded species. Recently an alternative model has been suggested, based on a trade-off between stress tolerance and fecundity, associated with the variation from large to small seeds. Here, we examine the role of seed size for recruitment in two-species contests subjected to various treatments. In a garden experiment seeds of 14 plant species were combined pair-wise into seven pairs, each with one larger-seeded species and one smaller-seeded species. Each species-pair was sown with sparse and dense seed densities and subjected to different treatments of shading and litter. Recruitment was recorded during two years. Our results showed a general advantage of larger-seeded species over smaller-seeded species. This seed size advantage increased in treatments with litter, whereas there were minor effects of shade, and no effect of seed density was found. We thus found little support for a density dependent seed size game as assumed in models of a competition-colonization trade-off, whereas our results fit well with a model based on a trade-off between stress tolerance and fecundity. Our experiment provides novel empirical data to theoretical models on co-existence between multiple seed size strategies.

  • 48.
    Lönnberg, Karin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Seed size and recruitment patterns in a gradient from grassland to forest2012In: Ecoscience, ISSN 1195-6860, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 140-147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seedlings germinating from large seeds are known to endure hazards such as shading, competition, and litter coverage better than seedlings germinating from small seeds. However, few studies have assessed the relationships between seed size and recruitment comparing plant communities with different structures in order to establish the conditions under which a seed-size advantage prevails. Here, seeds from 20 species varying in seed size from 0.05 to 17.8 mg were sown in 6 different vegetation types, representing a gradient from open grassland to closed canopy coniferous forest. We hypothesized that the effect of seed size on recruitment is generally positive, but that there is a stronger positive effect of seed size in closed than in open communities. Our results provided only limited support for this hypothesis. Firstly, the results varied between years, suggesting that any seed size advantage may depend on factors varying on an annual basis. Secondly, although there were trends of significantly positive relationships between seed size and seedling emergence, seedling survival, and recruitment success, particularly in relatively more closed vegetation types, the strongest positive effects of seed size were found in intermediate (semi-open) habitats along the gradient. We conclude that the filtering of species into the investigated communities is only weakly related to seed size, and that several factors other than canopy probably influence the link between seed size and recruitment.

  • 49. MacDougall, Andrew S.
    et al.
    McCune, Jenny L.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Cousins, Sara A. O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Pärtel, Meelis
    Firn, Jennifer
    Hierro, Jose L.
    The Neolithic Plant Invasion Hypothesis: the role of preadaptation and disturbance in grassland invasion2018In: New Phytologist, ISSN 0028-646X, E-ISSN 1469-8137, Vol. 220, no 1, p. 94-103Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A long-standing hypothesis is that many European plants invade temperate grasslands globally because they are introduced simultaneously with pastoralism and cultivation, to which they are 'preadapted' after millennia of exposure dating to the Neolithic era ('Neolithic Plant Invasion Hypothesis' (NPIH)). These 'preadaptations' are predicted to maximize their performance relative to native species lacking this adaptive history. Here, we discuss the explanatory relevance of the NPIH, clarifying the importance of evolutionary context vs other mechanisms driving invasion. The NPIH makes intuitive sense given established connections between invasion and agricultural-based perturbation. However, tests are often incomplete given the need for performance contrasts between home and away ranges, while controlling for other mechanisms. We emphasize six NPIH-based predictions, centring on trait similarity of invaders between home vs away populations, and differing perturbation responses by invading and native plants. Although no research has integrated all six predictions, we highlight studies suggesting preadaptation influences on invasion. Given that many European grasslands are creations of human activity from the past, current invasions by these flora may represent the continuation of processes dating to the Neolithic. Ironically, European Neolithic-derived grasslands are becoming rarer, reflecting changes in management and illustrating the importance of human influences on these species.

  • 50.
    Marteinsdottir, Bryndis
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Eriksson, Ove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Plant community assembly in semi-natural grasslands and ex-arable fields: a trait-based approach2014In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 77-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    QuestionThe assembly of plants into communities is one of the central topics in plant community ecology. The objective of this study was to investigate how plant functional trait diversity and environmental factors influence community assembly in two different grassland communities, and if variation in these factors could explain the difference in species assembly between these communities. LocationSix grazed ex-arable fields and eight semi-natural grasslands in southeast Sweden. MethodsWe estimated species abundance and measured soil attributes at each site. For each species within each site we measured specific leaf area (SLA), leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and seed mass. We analysed the data both for abundance-weighted species values and species occurrence. ResultsTrait gradient analysis indicated random distribution of species among sites, while CCA analysis indicated that both soil phosphorus and moisture were related to species assembly at a site. Correlations and fourth-corner analysis also revealed a relationship between measured species traits and soil phosphorus and moisture. There was a lower average seed mass and higher SLA of species in ex-arable fields compared to species in semi-natural grasslands. ConclusionsEven though trait gradient analysis indicated that plant community assembly in the studied grasslands was random, other results implied that species occurrence and abundance was influenced both by environmental factors and species traits. Higher species richness in semi-natural grasslands was associated with more large-seeded species found there compared to ex-arable fields, indicating that large-seeded species establish in grasslands later than small-seeded species.

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