Post-disturbance dynamics of plant communities in a Mediterranean temporary pool (Western Morocco): Effects of disturbance size

Sahib, Nargis; Rhazi, Laïla; Grillas, Patrick
February 2011
Botany;Feb2011, Vol. 89 Issue 2, p105
Academic Journal
Mediterranean temporary pools are frequently visited habitats where domestic livestock and wild herbivores generate numerous physical soil disturbances. Using two sizes of experimental plots (large, 1.20 m × 1.20 m; small, 0.3 m × 0.3 m), the effects of soil disturbances on vegetation dynamics and the vertical distribution of seeds were studied in one Moroccan temporary pool. Results show a very rapid regeneration of temporary wetland vegetation in disturbed plots. The speed of regeneration depends on the size of disturbance and hydrology. There was an almost complete return of vegetation to the reference state in the small disturbed plots by the end of the 1st year. This fast restoration was mainly due to seed banks, which play a key role in the resilience of pools to the different sizes of disturbances frequently generated by herbivores, but also to lateral colonization by perennials. Les perturbations physiques du sol sont très fréquentes dans les mares temporaires méditerranéennes, notamment celles qui sont générées par les herbivores domestiques ou sauvages. Les auteurs ont étudié les effets des perturbations du sédiment sur la dynamique de la végétation et la distribution verticale du stock semencier, sur des placettes expérimentales de deux tailles (grande, 1,20 m × 1,20 m; petite, 0,3 m × 0,3 m) dans une mare temporaire du Maroc. Les résultats montrent une reconstitution très rapide de la végétation des placettes perturbées, dont la vitesse dépendait de la taille de la perturbation et de l'hydrologie. Les petites placettes perturbées montraient un retour presque complet de la végétation à l'état de référence, dès la 1ière année. Cette restauration rapide s'est réalisée principalement à partir du stock semencier, lequel joue un rôle clé dans la résilience des mares aux différentes tailles de perturbations fréquemment générées par les herbivores, et par recolonisation latérale des vivaces clonales.


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