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Patch identity and the spatial heterogeneity of woody encroachment in exotic-dominated old-field grasslands

Por: Mazía, N.
Colaborador(es): Tognetti, P. M | Cirino, E. D.
ISSN: 1385-0237.Tipo de material: Artículos y capítulos. Recurso electrónico.Tema(s): COMPETITION | NOVEL ECOSYSTEMS | PAMPEAN GRASSLANDS | SEED PREDATION | SEEDLING ESTABLISHMENT | WOODY INVASION | ARABLE LAND | BIOLOGICAL INVASION | DOMINANCE | GRASSLAND | HETEROGENEITY | INTERSPECIFIC COMPETITION | INVASIVE SPECIES | OLD FIELD | PATCHINESS | SURVIVAL | ARGENTINA | PAMPAS | CONIUM | CONIUM MACULATUM | CYNODON DACTYLON | FESTUCA ARUNDINACEA | GLEDITSIA | GLEDITSIA TRIACANTHOS | LOLIUM | LOLIUM MULTIFLORUM | POACEAE | RODENTIA | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR. En: Plant Ecology Vol. 214, no. 2 (2013) 267-277Resumen: Most grassland communities in agricultural landscapes comprise a mix of exotic and native plants, where grasses and forbs are disposed in low diversity patches conforming a heterogeneous matrix of vegetation. Within these "novel" ecosystems, woody encroachment is one of the principal causes of ecosystem degradation. Here, we examined the resistance to exotic woody establishment [Gleditsia triacanthos] into four different monospecific patches characteristics of old-field grasslands in Inland Pampa: an annual forb [Conium maculatum], an annual grass [Lolium multiflorum], and two perennial grasses [Cynodon dactylon and Festuca arundinacea]. We evaluated the filter to tree recruitment by rodent seed removal and survival and growth of Gleditsia seedlings transplanted into undisturbed and disturbed microsites, within each patch. Beneath intact vegetation seed removal was an important biotic filter to woody establishment whereas disturbances facilitated seed survival in patches of perennial grasses. Patch identity affected tree growth, and Cynodon reduced the final biomass compared to forbs. Disturbance enhanced tree performance independently of patch type. After 2 years, tree survival was independent of disturbance and patch identity. As patch identity may regulate granivory and growth of tree saplings, community susceptibility or resistance to woody invasion rather than representing a static community attribute could vary according to the dynamic changes in the proportion of susceptible-resistant patches. Broadly, our work reinforces the concept that mechanisms regulating vegetation heterogeneity add a component of stochasticity to biotic resistance to community plant invasion.
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Most grassland communities in agricultural landscapes comprise a mix of exotic and native plants, where grasses and forbs are disposed in low diversity patches conforming a heterogeneous matrix of vegetation. Within these "novel" ecosystems, woody encroachment is one of the principal causes of ecosystem degradation. Here, we examined the resistance to exotic woody establishment [Gleditsia triacanthos] into four different monospecific patches characteristics of old-field grasslands in Inland Pampa: an annual forb [Conium maculatum], an annual grass [Lolium multiflorum], and two perennial grasses [Cynodon dactylon and Festuca arundinacea]. We evaluated the filter to tree recruitment by rodent seed removal and survival and growth of Gleditsia seedlings transplanted into undisturbed and disturbed microsites, within each patch. Beneath intact vegetation seed removal was an important biotic filter to woody establishment whereas disturbances facilitated seed survival in patches of perennial grasses. Patch identity affected tree growth, and Cynodon reduced the final biomass compared to forbs. Disturbance enhanced tree performance independently of patch type. After 2 years, tree survival was independent of disturbance and patch identity. As patch identity may regulate granivory and growth of tree saplings, community susceptibility or resistance to woody invasion rather than representing a static community attribute could vary according to the dynamic changes in the proportion of susceptible-resistant patches. Broadly, our work reinforces the concept that mechanisms regulating vegetation heterogeneity add a component of stochasticity to biotic resistance to community plant invasion.

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