Microclimate and vegetation edge effects in a reedbed in Hungary

Author: Báldi, A.

Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 8, Number 12, December 1999 , pp. 1697-1706(10)

Publisher: Springer

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The aim of the study was to describe microclimate (surface and air temperature, humidity, light and wind intensity) and vegetation structure (density and height of reeds, and reed shoot structure) across the first 20 m of a sharp reedbed edge at Lake Velence, Hungary, in June 1996. There was a significant edge effect, although different variables contributed differently to the pattern. The reedbed edge had three bands: the first is characterised by very dense stand, where the shoots were thin and short; in the second band density declined, but reed shoots were thick and very high, and in the third band both density and height declined, but not shoot diameter. Microclimate variables showed similar pattern: reedbed edges were warm, dry, bright and windy, further inside temperature, light and wind intensity declined, humidity increased, and still further temperature and light intensity increased, and humidity decreased. I estimated that the edge effect penetrates into the reedbed up to ca. 15 m. The great variation of variables across the edge inevitable has significant impact on the occurrence of animals species; our knowledge, however, is too limited to predict the expected extinction of species owing to edge effect.

Keywords: conservation; fragmentation; microclimate; reedbed; vegetation structure

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Animal Ecology Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, c/o Hungarian Natural History Museum, Baross u. 13. Budapest, H-1088, Hungary (fax: +36-1-317-1669; baldi@zoo.nhmus.hu)

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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