Plant functional traits (FTs) are important for understanding plant ecological strategies (e.g., drought avoidance), especially in the nutrient-poor soils of serpentine ecosystems. In the Mediterranean areas, such ecosystems are characterized by climatic factors (e.g., summer drought) that exert a filtering effect. In our study, we analyzed 24 species with varying serpentine affinity, from strictly serpentine plants to generalist plants, from two ultramafic shrublands in southern Spain, considering four FTs: plant height (H), leaf area (LA), specific leaf area (SLA), and stem specific density (SSD). Additionally, we also identified the species’ dominant strategies to avoid drought and those strategies’ relationship to serpentine affinity. We used principal component analysis to identify combinations of FTs, and cluster analysis to define Functional Groups (FGs).We defined eight FGs, which suggests that such Mediterranean serpentine shrublands are composed of species with wide-ranging of FTs. Indicator traits explained 67–72% of the variability based on four strategies: (1) lower H than in other Mediterranean ecosystems; (2) middling SSD; (3) low LA; and (4) low SLA due to thick and/or dense leaves, which contribute to long leaf survival, nutrient retention, and protection from desiccation and herbivory. Generalist plants had higher SLA than obligate serpentine plants, whereas the obligate serpentine plants showed more drought avoidance mechanisms than the generalists. Although most plant species inhabiting Mediterranean serpentine ecosystems have shown similar ecological adaptations in response to the Mediterranean environment, our results suggest that serpentine obligate plant species could present greater resilience to climate change. Given greater number and more pronounced drought avoidance mechanisms in these species compared with generalists, and the high number of FGs identified, the serpentine plants have shown adaptation to severe drought.
Prof. Dr. Michael Rudner
Alopecurus rendlei is an annual grass species of the Poaceae family. The species’north-eastern distribution range includes Luxembourg and the southern part of Belgium.The species has shown a dramatic decline in the past decade in both countries and in neighbouringGermany. The aim of the present study was to investigate the characteristics of A.rendlei populations in Luxembourg and its bordering regions in Belgium, Germany, andFrance and to determine whether regions and populations differ in plant morphology andsite ecology. At each survey site plant material from A. rendlei was collected and the species’population density was calculated. Furthermore, soil samples were taken, and the floristiccomposition of the sites overall was analysed. Within the study area, mean density of A.rendlei plants per population showed extensive variation. The presence of the species couldonly be confirmed in half of the known sites, out of which more than 50% were meadows.In reference to plant morphology, Luxemburgish populations were similar to the Belgianones, except for one population in the south of Luxembourg that displayed many similaritiesto French populations. In the German population the internodia were shorter than inthe other studied populations. Plant size as well as leaf length and the leaf length-width ratioincreased from Belgium to Luxembourg and France. The conclusions include managementand further research proposals. Based on our results as well as those of further investigationsthat are required, the decline of Alopecurus rendlei should be counteracted.
Prof. Dr. Michael Rudner
Raum für Vielfalt - für mehr Vielfalt in unserer Kulturlandschaft, ein Online-Weiterbildungspogramm (2019) 10. Agrarwissenschaftliches Symposium: Biodiversität in der Agrarlandschaft. Messen - Fördern - Gestalten. Tagungsband , S. 55-56.
Beiträge in Monografien, Sammelwerken, Schriftenreihen
Raum für Vielfalt - Online Weiterbildungsangebot für mehr Biodiversität in der Agrarlandschaft (2019) Treffpunkt Biologische Vielfalt XVII, Interdisziplinärer Forschungsaustausch im Rahmen des Übereinkommens über die biologische Vielfalt = BfN-Skripten 527 , S. 69-73.
Prof. Dr. Michael Rudner
Raum für Vielfalt- Online Weiterbildungsangebot für mehr Biodiversität in der Agrarlandschaft (2019) Tagungsband Eisenmann Forum .
Digitale Medien (Software, Audio, Video)
Prof. Dr. Christoph Moning,
M.Sc. Katja Meßlinger,
Dr. Annette Bucher,
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hauser,
Prof. Dr. Andreas Hoffmann,
Prof. Dr. Dominikus Gregor Kittemann,
Prof. Dr. Michael Rudner,
Prof. Dr. Volker Zahner
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