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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Diploma Thesis

Interannuelle Variabilität der Vegetation von Waldquellen

Jutta Kapfer (06/2007-11/2007)

Support: Carl Beierkuhnlein, Volker Audorff

Regarding to Global Climate Change, which in Central Europe is expected to
come along with increasing average temperature and a higher frequency of shortterm
events (e.g. intense rain or drought), investigations refering to potential
effects of short-term variability of environment to vegetation arise.
Here reactions of the vegetation of springs (single species, species-groups,
functional groups) to short-term changes in hydrological conditions are analyzed
over a period of four years in series (2003 to 2006). The main focus is on the
comparison between bryophytes and vascular plants. An influence of functional
plant traits to reaction intensity and velocity is expected.
Vegetation of 27 forest springs in Frankenwald and 30 forest springs in Fichtelgebirge
(NE-Bavaria) was recorded by a line-transect and hydrological data
(discharge, water temperature, pH, acid neutralizing capacity, conductivity)
were collected once a year. By use of BiolFlor (Klotz et al. 2002) database
relevant functional traits were attributed to species. Temporal performance of
species over the entire period of four years was analyzed. Therefor three categories
were defined, namely „indifferent species“, „trend species“ and „erratic
species“. Using Bray-Curtis-Dissimilarity interannual variability of species data
was analyzed. Also univariate (correlation analysis) and multivariate methods
(CCA, NMDS, cluster analysis) were used for detecting reactions of vegetation
to short-term changes in environment.
The results show diverse reactions of vegetation (single species, species groups,
functional groups) of forest springs in Frankenwald and Fichtelgebirge to shortterm
changes in pH. There is no difference between reactions of bryophytes and
vascular plants to short-term changes. Pellia epiphylla and Sphagnum fallax
in Frankenwald and Calamagrostis villosa, Carex remota and Chrysosplenium
oppositifolium in Fichtelgebirge show a strong respectively sensitive reaction to
short-term changes in pH. Functional traits as leaf anatomy, leaf form, kind of
pollination and life form show an influence to reaction of single species of forest
springs in Frankenwald and Fichtelgebirge to short-term changes.

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