Vegetation dynamics during the establishment phase of an energy forest on a riverside in south-western Sweden
The succession of ground vegetation was studied in a meadow in SW Sweden during four years after planting with Salix viminalis. Two older stands (11 and 18 years) were included as reference points for the next stage of succession. Random, permanent plots were used and the data were analysed with cluster analysis, principal components analysis and detrended correspondence analysis. Before energy forest was planted meadow species were dominant and constituted more than half of the mean field-layer cover. The first year after planting of willow, the vegetation decreased drastically in cover but then recolonized quickly. The change in vegetation was very rapid during the first years but a stabilization was evident already after four years. Ten species present in the original meadow were found in all years in the energy forest while three species disappeared. Species number varied from 33 to 45, depending on year. The dominant herbs four years after planting were Cirsium arvense (10% cover). Filipendula ulmaria (10%) and Galeopsis tetrahit (9%). Ruderal species became increasingly common during the succession. while meadow and fen species decreased. The spring flora was outstanding in the two older reference stands. Comparisons are made with other successions and an attempt is made to use the results to judge the impact of future large-scale energy forestry on flora and vegetation.
Succession; willow; Salix; coppice; short rotation forestry; biomass energy; principal components analysis; detrended correspondence analysis; cluster analysis
Studia Forestalia Suecica
Publisher: Faculty of Forestry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
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