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Functional diversity of different vegetation types does not respond homogeneously to change over time after conservation translocation from a rural landscape to an urbanized one

Świerszcz, Sebastian, Nowak, Arkadiusz, Kojs, Paweł, Nowak, Sylwia, Nobis, Marcin
Urban forestry & urban greening 2019 v.41 pp. 323-332
anthropogenic activities, biodiversity, ecosystems, entropy, flowering, functional diversity, grazing, habitat conservation, habitats, land use change, landscapes, meadows, microclimate, monitoring, seed dispersal, urbanization
The anthropogenic impact on natural environments and the loss of species diversity along with changes in functional diversity call for effective steps to ensure habitat conservation. The functional diversity in particular has suffered in recent decades due to investment and land use changes. The translocation of whole turfs of certain vegetation plots prior to being destroyed is one possible solution for maintaining habitat functional diversity. In the presented paper, we analyse the functional changes in adaptive, regeneration and urbanity plant traits for meadow, heath and fen that were translocated from a rural site to a post-industrial site in a city. After five years of monitoring, we checked the changes in the functional diversity (FD) and community weighted means with the adoption of nine traits and Rao’s quadratic entropy for calculating the FD and the relative treatment effect (RTE) to evaluate the influence of time. We found that the overall FD of that trait set was not significantly changed. The FD of the seed dispersal type significantly increased. The means of autochoric, anemochoric and hemerochoric species decreased, and nautochoric and zoochoric species increased significantly, with respect to the frequency and abundance. The flowering season was shorter for meadows and heaths with earlier start and termination. The most important factors of the FD changes are probably linked to the microclimate of the urbanized area and the cessation of grazing. Our study demonstrated that translocation of vegetation plots from rural to urbanized environments can be a fairly effective measure in landscape shaping and in promoting biodiversity in urban ecosystems.