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Exotic vs. native plant dominance over 20 years of old - field succession on set - aside farmland in Argentina

Colaborador(es): Tognetti, Pedro Maximiliano | Chaneton, Enrique José | Omacini, Marina | Trebino, Hernán Jorge | León, Rolando Juan Carlos.
ISSN: 0006-3207.Tipo de material: Artículos y capítulos. Recurso electrónico.Tema(s): BIODIVERSITY | INLAND PAMPAS | INVASIONS | NOVEL ECOSYSTEMS | RESTORATION | SUCCESSIONAL NICHES | ABUNDANCE | BIOLOGICAL INVASION | CLUSTER ANALYSIS | CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT | DOMINANCE | ECOSYSTEM SERVICE | INVASIVE SPECIES | NATIVE SPECIES | NICHE | OLD FIELD | RESTORATION ECOLOGY | SET-ASIDE | SPECIES POOL | SPECIES RICHNESS | SUCCESSION | ARGENTINA | PAMPAS | POACEAE | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR. En: Biological Conservation vol.143, no.11 (2010) p.2494-2503Resumen: Exotic plants are major constituents of species pools in modern landscapes. Managing succession for restoration of degraded ecosystems thus requires an understanding of novel trajectories unfolding in mixed, native/exotic plant assemblages. We examined trends in native and exotic species abundance over 20. years of old-field succession on set-aside farmland in the Inland Pampa, Argentina. Changes in plant cover and species richness were annually monitored on adjacent permanent plots established in different years [1978-1989]. Both native and exotic species occurred in early, mid and late successional stages, exhibiting similar life-form replacement patterns, from annual forbs, through annual to perennial grasses. Exotic plant richness declined with plot age. Yet, four exotic grasses remained dominant through succession [50-70 percent cover], with plots initiated in later years showing increased exotic cover. While native perennial grasses occurred from the onset of succession, increasing from 5 to 12. spp/plot, they only showed transient peaks below 30 percent cover. Cluster analysis of 113 plot-year samples identified alternative community states for early, mid and late successional stages, which were connected by a complex network of interweaving dynamic pathways. Depending on the plot, vegetation dynamics comprised directional temporal trajectories as well as nondirectional pathways, and arrested community states dominated by exotic grasses. Our results illustrate the overwhelming role of exotic species in modern old-field succession, and their potential to hinder recovery of native communities on former agricultural land. Community states with novel, native/exotic plant mixtures could be managed to deliver specific ecosystem services [e.g. forage production, carbon sequestration]. However, meeting conservation goals may require active restoration measures, including exotic plant removals and native grass seeding.
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Exotic plants are major constituents of species pools in modern landscapes. Managing succession for restoration of degraded ecosystems thus requires an understanding of novel trajectories unfolding in mixed, native/exotic plant assemblages. We examined trends in native and exotic species abundance over 20. years of old-field succession on set-aside farmland in the Inland Pampa, Argentina. Changes in plant cover and species richness were annually monitored on adjacent permanent plots established in different years [1978-1989]. Both native and exotic species occurred in early, mid and late successional stages, exhibiting similar life-form replacement patterns, from annual forbs, through annual to perennial grasses. Exotic plant richness declined with plot age. Yet, four exotic grasses remained dominant through succession [50-70 percent cover], with plots initiated in later years showing increased exotic cover. While native perennial grasses occurred from the onset of succession, increasing from 5 to 12. spp/plot, they only showed transient peaks below 30 percent cover. Cluster analysis of 113 plot-year samples identified alternative community states for early, mid and late successional stages, which were connected by a complex network of interweaving dynamic pathways. Depending on the plot, vegetation dynamics comprised directional temporal trajectories as well as nondirectional pathways, and arrested community states dominated by exotic grasses. Our results illustrate the overwhelming role of exotic species in modern old-field succession, and their potential to hinder recovery of native communities on former agricultural land. Community states with novel, native/exotic plant mixtures could be managed to deliver specific ecosystem services [e.g. forage production, carbon sequestration]. However, meeting conservation goals may require active restoration measures, including exotic plant removals and native grass seeding.

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