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Delineating the influence of water conditions and landscape on plant communities in eutrophic ditch networks

Abstract : Marshlands and floodplains are generally characterized by a long history of human occupation and management, with strong impacts on biodiversity. In these landscapes, ditch networks often represent the last or most significant aquatic habitat, and significantly contribute to regional biodiversity. To determine the drivers of biodiversity in ditch networks, especially the importance of the water regime, we monitored vegetation in ditches in 11 sites (independent blocks of ditch networks) of an Atlantic marshland (the Marais poitevin, France) over a 4-year period, and a panel of local environmental conditions and landscape characteristics. Large differences in the species richness and composition of ditch plant communities were observed among sites. The water regime had a predominant effect on all descriptors of ditch plant communities. High water levels combined with strong temporal variability, including drying-out periods, were found associated to the communities with the highest species richness. By contrast, water quality parameters did not influence plant communities across sites. Among landscape variables, woodland cover combined with high hedge cover along the ditches significantly influenced plant composition and species richness. These results are discussed in terms of management actions that may promote the diversity and composition of ditch plant communities and address conservation challenges.
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Submitted on : Saturday, March 6, 2021 - 7:32:49 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 2, 2021 - 2:08:09 PM


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André Mauchamp, Olivier Gore, Jean-Marc Paillisson, Benjamin Bergerot, Anne Bonis. Delineating the influence of water conditions and landscape on plant communities in eutrophic ditch networks. Wetlands Ecology and Management, Springer Verlag, 2021, ⟨10.1007/s11273-021-09792-x⟩. ⟨hal-03161477⟩



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