TitleChanges in species traits during succession: A search for pattern
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsPrach, K, Pysek, P, Smilauer, P

Cover data from 13 successional seres starting on bare ground in the western part of the Czech Republic sere analysed. The following questions were addressed: (1) whether the participation of species with particular traits exhibits some trends, and (2) whether primary and secondary seres differ from each other in the course of the first 10 yr of succession. Primary seres were distinguished from secondary ones a priori on the basis of absence or presence of (a) organic topsoil, and (b) soil seed bank at the onset of succession. Traits important for the course of succession were considered, their relative importance expressed for each sere and year on the basis of species quantities, and tested for trends (increase, decrease, unimodal response, no evident trend or absence). The majority of traits considered exhibited some trends in the course of succession. Participation of C-strategists, phanerophytes, intensity of lateral spread, presence of VA mycorrhizae, dispersal by animals and wind, and height of plants significantly increased during the first 10 yr of succession, whereas the participation of R-strategists, therophytes, propagule weight, and capability of forming persistent seed bank decreased. Participation of S-strategists, geophytes, hemicryptophytes, and all relevant types of pollination did not exhibit any significant trend. Primary and secondary seres differed from each other neither in trends in life-history characteristics of constituent species nor in their relative importance after the first 10 yr of succession.