Long-term weather sensitivity of open sand grasslands of the Kiskunság Sand Ridge forest-steppe mosaic after wildfires

Ónodi, Gábor and Altbacker, Vilmos and Aszalós, Réka and Botta-Dukát, Zoltán and Hahn, István and Kertész, Miklós (2014) Long-term weather sensitivity of open sand grasslands of the Kiskunság Sand Ridge forest-steppe mosaic after wildfires. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY, 15 (1). pp. 121-129. ISSN 1585-8553


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We studied the long-term impact of wildfire on the vegetation dynamics of sand grasslands in a forest-steppe vegetation mosaic in Central Hungary (Kiskunság). Longterm permanent quadrat monitoring was carried out from 1997 to 2008. We sampled the forest-steppe mosaic both in burnt and unburnt areas in 100 patches altogether using one by one meter quadrats. The effect of fire and precipitation on vegetation dynamics was characterized by patch type transitions between years. Patch types were defined by means of Cocktail method. Nine patch types of sand grasslands were altogether identified. The least productive patch types, bare soil and cryptogam dominance, did not occur in the burnt patches, while annual dominated patch type appeared only in burnt patches. The frequencies of patch type changes were significantly higher in burnt patches than in unburnt ones, independently on the time since fire. All the eight patch types found in the unburnt patches proved permanent, while in the burnt patches only four of seven were so. The relative frequency of patch type changes did not correlate to the precipitation in the vegetation period in the unburnt patches, while positively correlated in the burnt patches. It was concluded that the long-term difference in grassland dynamics between the unburnt and burnt patches, i.e. the excess of the patch type transitions in the burnt grasslands, are due to increased drought sensitivity of the grassland, which is the consequence of the elimination of the woody component of the forest-steppe vegetation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH540 Ecology / ökológia
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2015 17:27
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2015 17:27

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