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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/412

Title: Vertical structure of herbaceous canopies: the importance of plant growth-form, species-specific traits
Authors: Liira, Jaan
Zobel, Kristjan
Mägi, Reedik
Molenberghs, Geert
Keywords: Miscellaneous
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: KLUWER
Citation: Plant Ecology, 163(1). p. 123-134
Abstract: The factors determining herbaceous canopy architecture are poorlyunderstood, especially in natural and semi-natural plant communities. Inthis study, we tested three main hypotheses: (1) the structure of herbaceouscanopies can be explained by the vertical distribution of functional groupsdefined by leaf width and the presence/absence of leaves on upright stem;(2) the degree of canopy stratification is greater in habitats that experiencelower spatial heterogeneity in the supply of light (i.e., grasslands as opposedto forest herb layers); and (3) there is significant variation among specieswithin a growth-form, with respect to their vertical position in thecanopy. We used plant foliage height distribution data from 14 grassland and 13forest herbaceous communities to test these hypotheses. A general linear mixedmodel was applied to specify the proportions of total variance in the foliageheight, accounted for by the fixed effects of plants' basicgrowth-form properties (growth-form) and community type(forest/grassland), and by the random effects of sampling site, samplingpoint, and individual species. We were also interested in the correlation ofthedegree of the stratification with various community characteristics(productivity, other canopy properties, species richness, variation ofspecies' traits) and light availability. There was some evidence ofoverall canopy stratification according toplant growth-form, since plants with leafy stem were locatedsignificantly higher. However, such a pattern of two more or less distinctlayers (grasses + upright forbs and rosette forbs) occurred withconsistency only in grasslands (greater homogeneity in light). ....
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/412
DOI: 10.1023/A:1020365402855
ISI #: 000178236800010
ISSN: 1385-0237
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2003
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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