In: Phyton 56, Fasc. 2 (2016): S. 161-180 DOI: 10.12905/0380.phyton56(2)2016-0161
Assessment of the Ecological and Habitat Preferences of the Species Sesleria caerulea and S. tatrae (Poaceae) in the Western Carpathians
Monika Majerová Budzáková, Dobromil Galvánek, Jana Májeková, Jozef Šibík
Received November 12, 2015
Key words: Sesleria caerulea, Sesleria tatrae, Poaceae. – Ecology, autecology, synecology, vegetation, montane, subalpine and alpine belts. – Statistics, detrended correspondence analysis, multiple regression, t-test. – Western Carpathians, Slovakia, Poland.
Majerová Budzáková M., Galvánek D., Májeková J. & Šibík J. 2016. Assessment of the ecological and habitat preferences of the species Sesleria caerulea and S. tatrae (Poaceae) in the Western Carpathians. – Phyton (Horn, Austria) 56(2): 161–180, with 5 figures.
The main objective of this study was to investigate the ecological preferences of the species Sesleria caerulea (L.) Ard. and S. tatrae (Degen) Deyl in the Western Carpathians. To achieve that we used two different data sets: the first data set of 1029 relevés was selected from the Slovak vegetation database, the second data set of 201 relevés was collected along 11 transects by the authors of this study (with confirmation of ploidy level of each Sesleria species in the relevés). Almost all of our results correspond with the current knowledge obtained with traditional Observation methods. Therefore we support a general idea to use phytosociological data as a predictors of plant species occurrence in a certain environment that can be used e.g. for modeling although the critical evaluation of used data must be considered to avoid circular argumentation. At the same time we also emphasize to be critical when analyzing data applying general information retrieved from observations only. After the many of done researches where the results have been assumed, we finally did the very detailed analysis which replace assumptions. Our results show, that altitude is one of the most important factors determining the occurrence of the studied Sesleria species. S. tatrae is restricted to a narrow range at higher altitudes, while S. caerulea is found preferentially at lower altitudes, its wide range of altitudinal distribution is typical. Substrate characteristics are also an important Driver for the occurrence of the two species. In the Western Carpathians, both species occurred mostly on basiphilous substrates. Our study revealed also an affinity of S. caerulea to higher pH values in comparison with S. tatrae, which seem to have a wider ecological niche with regard to soil reaction as previously supposed. S. caerulea dominates on steep slopes with shallow soils and lower availability of nutrients. S. tatrae requires a higher level of nutrients and areas with deeper soils and moderate slopes. S. caerulea is better adapted to drought, whereas S. tatrae dominates in localities with a higher amount of soil moisture.