Indicators and mechanisms of stability and resilience to climatic and landscape changes in a remnant calcareous grassland

Stabilité et résilience aux changements climatique et de paysage dans les pelouses calcaires résiduelles

Van Looy, K ; Lejeune, M ; Verbeke, W

Type de document
Article de revue scientifique à comité de lecture
Langue
Anglais
Affiliation de l'auteur
IRSTEA LYON UR MALY FRA ; COMMUNICATION AND ECOLOGY HASSELT BEL ; INVERDE GREEN EXPERTISE FORUM HOEILAART BEL
Année
2016
Résumé / Abstract
When considering the development of conservation strategies for threatened plant communities it is crucial to understand their resilience to environmental change, taking into account current decline and the occurrence of further habitat fragmentation and climatic changes. Many recent works describe resilience character and elements, but there is little focus on the metrics and indices that describe elements of stability and specific resistance or resilience over the community composition matrix. Communities with strong niche selection might be restricted to specific resistance strategies to cope with environmental changes. This would result in a community at greater risk from increasing fragmentation and climatic changes. In a 35 years survey of relic calcareous grasslands, we looked at measures to identify the resilience mechanisms for stability in the presence and abundance of species. We used techniques of partitioning of temporal beta diversity in nestedness and turnover components, analysis of functional strategy changes and dissimilarity analysis to detect changes in between -plot diversity and exchanges. Contrary to expectations, we observe strong resilience with different stabilizing mechanisms both at plot level and exchanges between plots. At the scale of our grassland complex, response diversity and environmental stochasticity allow for the maintenance of high biodiversity under natural perturbations and gradual human -induced environmental changes. This highlights the importance of dispersal, recruitment dynamics and microsite diversity. Community resilience is more than just the sum of species resilience strategies; adaptive management strategies need more emphasis on the variability of conditions, as this can enable or disrupt important community resilience mechanisms.
Source
Ecological Indicators, vol. 70, p. 498 - 506

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