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Open AccessArticle

Influence of the Land Use Type on the Wild Plant Diversity

1
Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
2
Department of Dendrology, University of Forestry, 1797 Sofia, Bulgaria
3
Department Economics of Natural Resources, University of National and World Economy, 8th December Blvd., 1700 Sofia, Bulgaria
4
Department of Crop and Soil Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(5), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050602
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 17 April 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 8 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
Studies on the impact of agricultural practices on plant diversity provide important information for policy makers and the conservation of the environment. The aim of the present work was to evaluate wild plant diversity across the agroecosystems in two contrasting regions of Bulgaria; Pazardzhik-Plovdiv (representing agroecosystems in the lowlands) and Western Stara Planina (the Balkan Mountains, representing agroecosystems in the foothills of the mountains). This study conducted a two-year assessment of plant diversity in different types of agricultural and forest ecosystems, representing more than 30 land use types. Plant diversity, measured by species number, was affected by the land use type only in Pazardzhik-Plovdiv region. More pronounced was the effect of the groups of land use types on the diversity, measured by the mean species number per scoring plot. Climatic conditions, measured by 19 bioclimatic variables, were the most important factor affecting plant species diversity. Six bioclimatic variables had a significant effect on the plant diversity, and the effect was more pronounced when the analysis considered pooled data of the two regions. The highest plant diversity was found on grazing land with sparse tree cover, while the lowest one was in the land use types representing annual crops or fallow. The study also established a database on weed species, relevant to agriculture. A number of common weeds were found in the Pazardzhik-Plovdiv region, while the most frequent species in the Western Stara Planina region were indigenous ones. Overall, the natural flora of Western Stara Planina was more conserved; eleven orchid species with conservation significance were found in the pastures and meadows in that region. The present study is the first attempt in Bulgaria to characterize the plant diversity across diverse agroecosystems representing many different land use types and environmental conditions. The results can contribute to nature conservation, biodiversity, and the sustainable use of plant resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable agriculture; biodiversity; flora; bioclimatic variables sustainable agriculture; biodiversity; flora; bioclimatic variables
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aneva, I.; Zhelev, P.; Lukanov, S.; Peneva, M.; Vassilev, K.; Zheljazkov, V.D. Influence of the Land Use Type on the Wild Plant Diversity. Plants 2020, 9, 602. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050602

AMA Style

Aneva I, Zhelev P, Lukanov S, Peneva M, Vassilev K, Zheljazkov VD. Influence of the Land Use Type on the Wild Plant Diversity. Plants. 2020; 9(5):602. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050602

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aneva, Ina; Zhelev, Petar; Lukanov, Simeon; Peneva, Mariya; Vassilev, Kiril; Zheljazkov, Valtcho D. 2020. "Influence of the Land Use Type on the Wild Plant Diversity" Plants 9, no. 5: 602. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050602

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