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Response of dry grassland vegetation to fluctuations in weather conditions: a 9-year case study in Prague (Czech Republic)

1Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening, CZ-252 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic

2Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CZ-252 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic

© 2011 Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Biologia. Volume 66, Issue 5, Pages 837–847, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: 10.2478/s11756-011-0079-1, August 2011

Publication History

Published Online:
2011-08-08

Abstract

The extreme habitats of dry grasslands are suitable for investigations of the response of vegetation to local climate changes. The impact of weather variability on the dynamics of a plant community in a dry grassland was studied. Correlations were found between different functional groups of species and individual species and weather variability. During a 9-year study in five nature reserves in Prague (Czech Republic), the following responses of dry grassland vegetation to weather conditions were observed: (i) wetter conditions, especially in the winter, affected the dominance and species richness of perennial grass species and the decline of rosette plants; (ii) the year-to-year higher temperatures in the winter produced a decline in the dominance of short graminoids and creeping forbs; (iii) spring drought adversely impacted the overall abundance, especially the abundance of dicotyledonous species, and the species richness. However, these relationships may be manifested in different ways in different locations, and in some cases the vegetation of different locations may respond to weather conditions in opposite manners.

Keywords: climate change; dry grassland; coverage; species richness; functional groups of species; individual species; Prague (Czech Republic)

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