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Local Factors Rather than the Landscape Context Explain Species Richness and Functional Trait Diversity and Responses of Plant Assemblages of Mediterranean Cereal Field Margins

AuthorsPallavicini, Yésica ; Bastida, F. ; Hernández Plaza, María Eva ; Petit, Sandrine; Izquierdo, Jordi; González-Andújar, José Luis
KeywordsPlant diversity
Plant functional traits
Agricultural intensification
Seed mass
Issue Date22-Jun-2020
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationPlants 9(6): 778 (2020)
AbstractArable field margins are valuable habitats providing a wide range of ecosystem services in rural landscapes. Agricultural intensification in recent decades has been a major cause of decline in plant diversity in these habitats. However, the concomitant effects on plant functional diversity are less documented, particularly in Mediterranean areas. In this paper, we analyzed the effect of margin width and surrounding landscape (cover and diversity of land use and field size), used as proxies for management intensity at local and landscape scales, on plant species richness, functional diversity and functional trait values in margins of winter cereal fields in southern Spain. Five functional traits were selected: life form, growth form, seed mass, seed dispersal mode and pollination type. RLQ and fourth-corner analyses were used to link functional traits and landscape variables. A total of 306 plant species were recorded. Species richness and functional diversity were positively related to margin width but showed no response to landscape variables. Functional trait values were affected neither by the local nor landscape variables. Our results suggest that increasing the margin width of conventionally managed cereal fields would enhance both taxonomic and functional diversity of margin plant assemblages, and thus the services they provide to the agro-ecosystem.
Description© 2020 by the authors.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060778
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