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Community composition and ecosystem processes during succession may be driven partly by traits of plant species that attain dominance. Here, we addressed the hypothesis that Stipa pulcherrima, the dominant grass of abandoned continental grasslands, controls seedling recruitment of co-occurring species through chemical effects of its litter. Eight species(More)
Land-cover changes are caused by human activities and natural ecological processes. Thus, our study uses an interdisciplinary approach to research land-cover changes. We present a method to (i) link socio-economic/environmental factors and land-cover changes, (ii) identify indicators of land-cover changes, and (iii) distinguish between socio-economic and(More)
Since inference concerning the relative effects of propagule pressure, biotic interactions, site conditions and species traits on the invasibility of plant communities is limited, we carried out a field experiment to study the role of these factors for absolute and relative seedling emergence in three resident and three non-resident confamilial herb species(More)
Non-native plant species may contain allelopathic substances that might help to out-compete native vegetation. These allelochemicals may be released from live or dead plant tissues and be accumulated in the soil. We tested whether non-native species leaf litter and their leachates reduced seedling establishment and growth of native species. We subjected(More)
Arctic ecosystems face strong changes in snow conditions due to global warming. In contrast to habitat specialists, species occupying a wide range of microhabitats under different snow conditions may better cope with such changes. We studied how growth and reproduction of the dominant dwarf shrub Empetrum hermaphroditum varied among three habitat types(More)
Grassland age is increasingly recognised to be an indicator for present-day biodiversity, e.g. plant species richness, and is also important for other landscape functions. We developed a methodological approach to systematically assess the spatial distribution of grassland age in marginal European landscapes. This approach - applied to the Lahn-Dill(More)
Overgrazing, land use abandonment and increasing recreational activities have altered the vegetation of high-montane and subalpine grassland of the Caucasus. The failure of previous restoration efforts with unsuitable and exotic plant species indicates the need for information on the present vegetation and in which way it might change. Within the Greater(More)
BACKGROUND Floodplain meadows along rivers are semi-natural habitats and depend on regular land use. When used non-intensively, they offer suitable habitats for many plant species including rare ones. Floodplains are hydrologically dynamic ecosystems with both periods of flooding and of dry conditions. In German floodplains, dry periods may increase due to(More)
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