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Identification of the environmental factors which drive the botanical and functional composition of permanent grasslands

  • A. MICHAUD (a1) (a2) (a3), S. PLANTUREUX (a2), B. AMIAUD (a2), P. CARRÈRE (a4), P. CRUZ (a5), M. DURU (a5), B. DURY (a6), A. FARRUGGIA (a3), J. L. FIORELLI (a7), E. KERNEIS (a8) and R. BAUMONT (a3)...

Summary

Managed grasslands provide environmental and agronomic services that can be predicted from the botanical and functional composition of the vegetation. These are influenced by management, edaphic and climatic factors. The present report set out to estimate and analyse the relative importance of management, soil and climate factors on botanical and functional characteristics of grassland vegetation. A set of 178 French grasslands having a large pedoclimatic and management gradient was selected, and information collected on botanical composition, pedoclimatic factors and management. Six vegetation characteristics were considered: two botanical (floristic composition and species dominance) and four functional (proportion of entomophilous species, number of oligotrophic species, leaf dry matter content and date of flowering). First, the links between the characteristics of the vegetation were analysed to check for any redundancy among them; all were kept. Second, it was demonstrated that botanical and functional characteristics were not driven by the same factors: functional composition was characterized by management, edaphic and climatic factors, whereas botanical composition was influenced mainly by climatic and edaphic factors plus other factors. Interactions between factors also have to be taken into consideration to predict botanical and functional composition of grasslands. Functional and botanical characteristics of vegetation help to predict ecosystem services delivered by grasslands and may be used in combination.

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Corresponding author

*To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: audrey.michaud@clermont.inra.fr

References

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Identification of the environmental factors which drive the botanical and functional composition of permanent grasslands

  • A. MICHAUD (a1) (a2) (a3), S. PLANTUREUX (a2), B. AMIAUD (a2), P. CARRÈRE (a4), P. CRUZ (a5), M. DURU (a5), B. DURY (a6), A. FARRUGGIA (a3), J. L. FIORELLI (a7), E. KERNEIS (a8) and R. BAUMONT (a3)...

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