Original paper

Influence of small climatic variations on the species composition of roadside grasslands

Godefroid, Sandrine; Tanghe, Martin

Phytocoenologia Band 30 Heft 3-4 (2000), p. 655 - 664

22 references

published: Nov 24, 2000

DOI: 10.1127/phyto/30/2000/655

BibTeX file

ArtNo. ESP024003003020, Price: 29.00 €

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Relations between the distribution of Arrhenatheretalia species from roadside grasslands of southern Belgium and variations in climatic parameters are described on the basis of a statistical sampling procedure integrating multivariate techniques (cluster analysis and DCA-ordination). The authors examine the influence of small macroclimate features, such as mean annual rainfall (1100-1400 mm), mean annual temperature (7.0- 8.2 °C), mean annual number of frost days (90-120) and mean annual number of snow days (28-35), on the floristic composition of roadside grasslands from High Ardennes (525-570 m a.s.l.) (19 samplings) and Middle Ardennes ecological sectors (330-500 m a.s.l.) (26 samplings). Cluster analysis revealed two distinct clusters of vegetation samples which are likely to be arranged along a climatic gradient. Sample scores on the first DCA-axis were significantly correlated with climatic parameters. Mean annual number of frost days was the factor which best explained the differences between plots, when analysed with a linear regression. These results indicate that very small macroclimate variations in general and in the number of frost days in particular, are determinant of compositional variation in roadside plant communities.


road vergesArrhenatheretaliamacroclimatespecies composition