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Functional diversity-area relationship in permanent grassland

Taugourdeau S., Schneider M., Domenicone C., Sempé L., Amiaud B., Huguenin-Elie O., Plantureux S.. 2012. In : B.Piotr Golinski (ed.), Marianna Warda (ed.), Piotr Stypinski (ed.). Grassland - a European Resource? : Proceedings of the 24th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation Lublin, Poland 3-7 june 2012. Poznan : European Grassland Federation; Polish Grassland Society, p. 707-709. (Grassland science in Europe, 17). General Meeting of European Grassland Federation. 24, 2012-06-03/2012-06-07, Lublin (Pologne).

The target of a multi-functional, sustainable use of grasslands requires deeper understanding of the relationships between grassland management and plant diversity and its consequences on ecosystem functioning. Some of these relationships are well known for specific pedo-climatic conditions. One option to extend our knowledge to a broader range of conditions is to aggregate different studies by performing a meta-analysis. Nevertheless, differences in sampling area between studies is a major challenge. For taxonomic diversity, species-area curves have been established for different habitats but references for functional diversity are scarce. We aimed at assessing the possibility of using functional diversity-area curves to correct for differing sampling area between studies before merging data for overall analysis on functional diversity. We measured diversity in 9 nested areas of increasing size (from 0.01 m² to 100 m²) in 16 grasslands with different management (grazing, mowing).We analyzed the effect of area on specific richness, functional richness, functional divergence and community weighed mean value of several functional traits (SLA, LDMC) and on the percentage of legumes. We conclude that correction for differing sampling area is possible for functional richness and community weighted mean values.

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