Hodgson, J. G. and Montserrat-Martí, G. and Cerabolini, B. and Ceriani, R. M. and Maestro-Martínez, M. and Peco, B. and Wilson, P. J. and Thompson, K. and Grime, J. P. and Band, S. R. and Bogard, A. and Castro-Díez, P. and Charles, M. and Jones, G. and Pérez-Rontomé, M. C. and Caccianiga, M. and Alard, D. and Bakker, J. P. and Cornelissen, J. H. C. and Dutoit, T. and Grootjans, A. P. and Guerrero-Campo, J. and Gupta, P. L. and Hynd, A. and Kahmen, S. and Poschlod, P. and Romo-Díez, A. and Rorison, I. H. and Rosén, E. and Schreiber, K.-F. and Tallowin, J. and de Torres Espuny, L. and Villar-Salvador, P. (2005) A functional method for classifying European grasslands for use in joint ecological and economic studies. Basic and Applied Ecology 6 (2), pp. 119-131.
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Other URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2005.01.006
A simple protocol is presented for a functional classification of European grassland species using attributes that can be quickly and easily measured. These attributes relate to habitat fertility, intensity of grazing and disturbance. As a surrogate for habitat fertility we use leaf nitrogen predicted by multiple regression from three leaf characters, specific leaf area, dry matter content and size. Average maximum canopy height of the component species of our vegetation, weighted by abundance, provides a rough assessment of the intensity of grazing. The percentage of annuals and vernal geophytes assesses disturbance. Functional descriptions of the CLIMB grasslands were produced and trends relating to both ecosystem and economic processes were detected. Most importantly, our estimate of habitat fertility predicts land use change. Within NW Europe the threat to grassland of conservation value from agricultural ‘improvement’ increases with fertility while in the Mediterranean increased fertility decreases the likelihood of abandonment. These mathematical relationships between an ecological attribute and a perception of economic potential can help us to routinely combine ecological and economic data. This is an important preliminary step as we attempt to reconcile practical economic concerns and conservation objectives within working landscapes.
|Institutions:||Biology, Preclinical Medicine > Institut für Botanik / Zellbiologie|
|Keywords:||Land use; Fertility; Disturbance; Abandonment; Agri-environment schemes|
|Subjects:||500 Science > 580 Botanical sciences|
500 Science > 570 Life sciences
|Refereed:||Yes, this version has been refereed|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Partially|
|Deposited On:||20 Jul 2006|
|Last Modified:||05 Aug 2009 15:21|
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