Temporary ponds (TPs) are shallow water bodies characterized by alternating phases of drought and flooding. They exhibit a small-scale zonation with a central belt (CB), an intermediate belt, and an outer belt (OB). Starting from the hypothesis that plant assemblage composition is affected by the position within TPs, our aims were to define the small-scale patterns of plant functional types, soil evolution, and soil physicochemical properties and to analyze their relationships and how they were affected by pond characteristics (i.e., elevation, substratum, total size, belt size, maximum water depth, and hydroperiod). Our results pointed out that patterns of plant functional types and soil evolution followed the position within the pond, soil physicochemical properties were weakly affected, and there was a relationship between plant functional types, soil small-scale patterns, and pond characteristics. Principal component analysis showed a positive correlation of Alfisols with CB, aquatic and amphibious species, maximum water depth, and hydroperiod, and of Entisols with OB and terrestrial species. A combined microtopography-hydrology effect was the primary factor controlling soil evolution and plant functional type patterns. As a consequence, modification in topographic shape and/or hydrologic parameters could alter TP environments. The results provide information for management strategies as an answer to the concerns surrounding continued worldwide TP decline.
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|Titolo:||Small-scale patterns of plant functional types and soil features within Mediterranean temporary ponds|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|