Autochthonous and widely distributed plant species coexist in most natural pastured grasslands. Local taxa are usually associated with biodiversity and soil protection, whereas more productive attitudes are expected by sinanthropic species. Coexistence equilibrium lay on processes that may be affected by both disturbance and environmental changes. The aim of this work was to differentiate autochthonous and widely distributed species of a mountain-Mediterranean grassland for their ability to face drought and disturbance, and providing data to infer how temperature changes could affect the relative size of their populations. A group of species from a natural pasture of Nebrodi mounts (Sicily) were analyzed for their responses to light, temperature, water availability and cutting. The species were pot cultivated and subjected to different experimental treatments. Growth, allocation and plant architecture were determined during the experiments; photosynthetic activity, transpiration and water use efficiency at different temperature and PPFD were determined in laboratory by gas exchange analysis. Local taxa were characterized by different strategies to face water stress, whereas non-endemic pabular species tended to show higher growth rates and better ability to withstand cutting. Different response to increasing temperatures were shown by the studied species, pointing out the relevant effects that climatic changes could induce on grassland species composition.
|Titolo:||Differential response to drought, disturbance and increasing temperature of endemic and non-endemic species of a mountain-Mediterranean grassland|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|