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Effect of proximity to ancient deciduous woodland on restoration of the field layer vegetation in a pine plantation

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The influence of dominant tree species, soil conditions and distance from an adjacent ancient oak-hornbeam woodland upon the floristic composition, species richness and spatial distributions of species in a pine wood planted on dry rendzina soil were studied in southern Poland. It was found that, in spite of a 52-yr long succession, the cover and composition of species in the pine wood were significantly different from that in the adjacent ancient woodland. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and stepwise regression analyses showed that the distance to the ancient woodland had a significant influence on species distributions in the recent wood. The numbers of species from the Querco-Fagetea class, vegetatively reproducing species and myrmecochores decreased with this distance, whereas the numbers of tree species in the shrub and field layers and anemochores increased. The light intensity had a positive effect on the numbers of species in the shrub layer, non-woodland species and anemochores. The number of woodland species increased considerably with the cover of quickly decomposing litter and with thickness of the humus layer. The migration rate of many woodland species, calculated on occurrence of the farthest individuals was very slow, varying from 0.18 m yr−1 to 0.38 m yr−1. These results indicate that the availability of micro-sites suitable for seed germination and plant development determined the successful colonization of the recent wood to an extent comparable with the seed dispersal.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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