The research aims were to identify the flowering pattern and the related functional strategies in submediterranean mountain meadows (central Italy) and understand their relationships with some environmental and community structure variables. The number of flowering shoots per species was counted and environmental data were collected in 40 plots during 2009. Analysis of the species and trait data sets highlighted a flowering pattern and an underlying functional pattern. Dominant species tend to bloom in the central phases of the growing season when no stress acts in the system and a long time is available for plant growth and seed maturation. This kind of species does not need functional strategies allowing the canopy fast pre-emption or the tolerance to drought stress. Non-dominant species have two groups of functional strategies that allow them to share the same flowering period of dominant ones by a different type of space occupation (spatial niche partitioning) or to flower before or after their flowering period (temporal niche partitioning). The functional strategies involved in the temporal niche partitioning have a dual ecological meaning, limiting competition with dominant species by fast growth and seed maturation (e.g., short stature, mobilisation of stored reserves, colonization of unexploited soil niches by clonal growth organs and light seeds) and enabling tolerance to drought stress (e.g., scleromorphic and succulent leaves, persistent green leaves, tap roots) and to the low light availability at the ground level owing to the change of grassland structure (e.g., tall size and upright growth form).

Trait-related flowering patterns in submediterranean mountain meadows

TARDELLA, Federico Maria
2012

Abstract

The research aims were to identify the flowering pattern and the related functional strategies in submediterranean mountain meadows (central Italy) and understand their relationships with some environmental and community structure variables. The number of flowering shoots per species was counted and environmental data were collected in 40 plots during 2009. Analysis of the species and trait data sets highlighted a flowering pattern and an underlying functional pattern. Dominant species tend to bloom in the central phases of the growing season when no stress acts in the system and a long time is available for plant growth and seed maturation. This kind of species does not need functional strategies allowing the canopy fast pre-emption or the tolerance to drought stress. Non-dominant species have two groups of functional strategies that allow them to share the same flowering period of dominant ones by a different type of space occupation (spatial niche partitioning) or to flower before or after their flowering period (temporal niche partitioning). The functional strategies involved in the temporal niche partitioning have a dual ecological meaning, limiting competition with dominant species by fast growth and seed maturation (e.g., short stature, mobilisation of stored reserves, colonization of unexploited soil niches by clonal growth organs and light seeds) and enabling tolerance to drought stress (e.g., scleromorphic and succulent leaves, persistent green leaves, tap roots) and to the low light availability at the ground level owing to the change of grassland structure (e.g., tall size and upright growth form).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11581/250439
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