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Forests 2015, 6(10), 3501-3513; doi:10.3390/f6103501

Native and Alien Plant Species Richness Response to Soil Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Temperate Floodplain and Swamp Forests

1
Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, SK-845 23 Bratislava, Slovakia
2
Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Education, Catholic University, Hrabovská cesta 1, SK-034 01 Ružomberok, Slovakia
3
Department of Phytology, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 24, SK-960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
4
Institute of Forest Ecology, Štúrova 2, SK-960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
5
Botanical Garden, Comenius University, SK-038 15 Blatnica, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Heinz Rennenberg
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2015 / Accepted: 22 September 2015 / Published: 7 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen and Phosphorus Nutrition of Trees and Forests)
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Abstract

Soil nitrogen and phosphorus are commonly limiting elements affecting plant species richness in temperate zones. Our species richness-ecological study was performed in alder-dominated forests representing temperate floodplains (streamside alder forests of Alnion incanae alliance) and swamp forests (alder carrs of Alnion glutinosae alliance) in the Western Carpathians. Species richness (i.e., the number of vascular plants in a vegetation plot) was analyzed separately for native and alien vascular plants in 240 vegetation plots across the study area covering Slovakia, northern Hungary and southern Poland. The relationship between the species richness of each plant group and total soil nitrogen content, plant-available phosphorus and carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio was analyzed by generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) with Poisson error distribution and log-link function. The number of recorded native and alien species was 17–84 (average 45.4) and 0–9 (average 1.5) species per plot, respectively. The GLMMs were statistically significant (p ˂ 0.001) for both plant groups, but the total explained variation was higher for native (14%) than alien plants (9%). The richness of native species was negatively affected by the total soil nitrogen content and plant-available phosphorus, whereas the C/N ratio showed a positive impact. The alien richness was predicted only by the total soil nitrogen content showing a negative effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: alder-dominated forests; diversity; native and alien species; soil nutrients; vascular plants; vegetation alder-dominated forests; diversity; native and alien species; soil nutrients; vascular plants; vegetation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hrivnák, R.; Slezák, M.; Jarčuška, B.; Jarolímek, I.; Kochjarová, J. Native and Alien Plant Species Richness Response to Soil Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Temperate Floodplain and Swamp Forests. Forests 2015, 6, 3501-3513.

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