Land use heterogeneity causes variation in demographic viability of a bioindicator of species-richness in protected fen grasslands

Lemke, Tristan and Salguero-Gomez, Roberto (2016) Land use heterogeneity causes variation in demographic viability of a bioindicator of species-richness in protected fen grasslands. Population Ecology, 58 1: 165-178. doi:10.1007/s10144-015-0519-9


Author Lemke, Tristan
Salguero-Gomez, Roberto
Title Land use heterogeneity causes variation in demographic viability of a bioindicator of species-richness in protected fen grasslands
Journal name Population Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1438-3896
1438-390X
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10144-015-0519-9
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 58
Issue 1
Start page 165
End page 178
Total pages 14
Place of publication Tokyo, Japan
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Land use change is one of the main drivers of species extinction. In Europe, grasslands are under active conflict between conservation efforts and increasing agricultural pressures. Here, we examine the demographic effects of differential land use on the herbaceous perennial Trollius europaeus L. (Ranunculaceae), a bioindicator of species-richness and ecosystem services in wet grasslands of Central Europe. Demographic data were collected in 2006–2009 from nine populations in seven protected sites of northeastern Germany representing four land use types. We constructed stage-based matrix population models to explore the effects of various land management on demographic viability of focal populations. We show that most studied populations are declining (λ < 1), although the estimates of local extinction vary between ≤15 years for grazed and woodland populations, and 20–99 years for mown and abandoned populations. The joint information from our elasticity analyses and life table response experiments revealed that reproduction, growth of small vegetative individuals and survival of reproductive stages are most important for population viability. Our study shows that the current land uses in protected areas where T. europaeus is found is incompatible with its long-term viability. We suggest that, when compatible with in situ practices, grasslands containing this species be mown after maturity in order to enhance seedling recruitment and to reduce competition for juveniles. Prolonged extinction times in abandoned populations offer a buffer to develop conservation schemes there. An improvement of conservation measures is urgently needed to maintain the populations of this important bioindicator and its associated community of moist species-rich fen grasslands.
Keyword Conservation
Matrix population model
Perturbation analysis
Population growth rate (λ)
Population viability
Trollius europaeus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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