The Influence of Plant Dominants on the Associated Species Abundance in Wet Tall-Herb Meadow Plant Communities

Vera Lebedeva 1 , Marina Tikhodeyeva 1  and Elena Koptseva 1
  • 1 Saint-Petersburg State University, , 199034, St. Petersburg


Plant interactions in wet tall-herb meadow plant communities were described through dominant and edificator species identification. Five dominant species were identified: Alopecurus pratensis, Filipendula ulmaria, Deschampsia cespitosa, Anthriscus sylvestris, and Angelica sylvestris. The effects of species were studied using ANOVA and correlation analyses. Not all dominants were recognised as edificators. Edificators (Alopecurus pratensis, Filipendula ulmaria, Deschampsia cespitosa, Angelica sylvestris) had a negative effect on the various abundance indicators of associated species: percent cover, number, phytomass, and height. The edificator effects differed significantly in their level and duration and depended on the biomorphs of dominants. The perennial species Alopecurus pratensis, Filipendula ulmaria, and Deschampsia cespitosa were strong constant edificators. Angelica sylvestris, a short-lived monocarpic from the Apiaceae, is a weak seasonal edificator, while Anthriscus sylvestris is not an edificator. Analysis of the life strategies of species showed that competitors are not always edificators (Anthriscus sylvestris), whereas stress-tolerant may show edificator properties (Deschampsia cespitosa). The associated plant species often show positive interactions. Most of the associated species are stress-tolerant and have not an edificator effect.

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