Strategies of glacier foreland species (2004-2008)

bild_gesamt1Colonization on recently deglaciated sites highly depends on the life history traits of the species involved. Reproduction, seed traits, dispersal, seed bank, germination, establishment and development of populations are essential parameters in colonization studies. In this project seed rain, seed bank, seed traits, and the demography of selected species along the successional gradient were studied for three years. Using matrix models, the effects of life history traits on population persistence time and the extinction risk of the populations can be estimated. The field site is the glacier foreland of the Rotmoosferner (Obergurgl, Ötztal, Tyrol, Austria) at 2300 – 2450 m a.s.l.

Research Questions

  • Is there a seed bank already in the pioneer stage and are there differences along the successional gradient?
  • Are there differences in the seed rain along the successional gradient?
  • Are seed shape and size related to seed persistence?
  • What are the key life history traits along the successional gradient?
  • Which life strategies discriminate pioneer-, early-, and late successional species?
  • Do life history traits and rates of population increase vary with moraine age?
  • Is there a systematic trend towards higher extinction risk for pioneer- and early successional species with increasing moraine age?

Funding
FWF P16615-B06 (2004-2007) [Link]

Cooperation
Eckart Winkler, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Leipzig, Germany  

Personnel involved
Silvia Marcante
Erich Schwienbacher
Brigitta Erschbamer

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