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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 20, 2016

The assessment of seasonal variability in emergent macrophyte communities

Dragana D. Jenačković, Ivana D. Zlatković, Dmitar V. Lakušić and Vladimir N. Ranđelović
From the journal Biologia

Abstract

Data on seasonal variability in emergent macrophyte communities in regard to the composition of statistically significant indicator species remain incomplete. It was recognized by the authors as a potentially significant scientific issue and was defined as the main objective of this study. Information on the floristic composition of the communities included in this paper were collected in the Central Balkan Peninsula. Using a combination of cluster analysis and indicator species analysis, 11 emergent macrophyte communities were established. The seasonal dynamic of these communities did not include statistically significant modification of either the floristic composition or the species abundances according to the results of permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA). Nevertheless, seasonal variability in three communities –the Sparganium erectum community, Scirpus lacustris community and Typha angustifolia community – was registered in regard to the composition of their statistically significant indicator species. Disturbances primarily related to water level fluctuation in their habitats initiated a significant increase or decrease in the abundances of particular species. These slight structural changes were sufficient to induce a changeability in these communities in terms of the composition of their statistically significant indicator species over the growing season without a significant impact on the PERMANOVA results. This relatively “concealed” changeability of plant communities could have serious consequences on the processes of both defining and describing vegetation units because the indicator species are often used as “diagnostic species”. Consequently, future ecological studies should be more focused on investigating seasonal variability in diverse vegetation types in order extend our knowledge in this area.

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Project No. 173030). The authors are very grateful to anonymous reviewers for their critical and valuable comments on previous version of the manuscript. Also, the authors would like to acknowledge Marija Perković for significantly improving the English version of this paper and Sonja Stojanović (UK) for the final English corrections.

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Received: 2015-12-4
Accepted: 2016-2-26
Published Online: 2016-4-20
Published in Print: 2016-3-1

© 2016 Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences