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Ambio ; 45(2): 185-95, 2016 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26458391


Wood-pastures are associated with high cultural and biodiversity values in Europe. However, due to their relatively low productivity, large areas of wood-pastures have been lost over the last century. In some areas, incentive schemes have been developed to revive wood-pastures. We investigated the effects of one such scheme in western Estonia. We compared the structure of grazed wood-pastures (old and restored) to those of abandoned wood-pastures and ungrazed forest stands to explore the effects of management, and conducted interviews with 24 farmers to investigate their motivations to carry out the management. We found a positive influence of active management on the semi-open structure of wood-pastures. Financial support was vital for management, but personal values related to tradition also played an important role. The interviewees differed widely in their range of motivations, suggesting that other strategies in addition to financial incentives would further improve the management of wood-pastures in the region.

Agricultura , Biodiversidade , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Florestas , Pradaria , Estônia
Glob Chang Biol ; 21(7): 2726-2738, 2015 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25641681


Although the distribution ranges and abundance of many plant species have declined dramatically in recent decades, detailed analysis of these changes and their cause have only become possible following the publication of second- and third-generation national distribution atlases. Decline can now be compared both between species and in different parts of species' ranges. We extracted data from distribution atlases to compare range persistence of 736 plant species common to both the UK and Estonia between survey periods encompassing almost the same years (1969 and 1999 in the UK and 1970 and 2004 in Estonia). We determined which traits were most closely associated with variation in species persistence, whether these were the same in each country, and the extent to which they explained differences in persistence between the countries. Mean range size declined less in Estonia than in the UK (24.3% vs. 30.3%). One-third of species in Estonia (239) maintained >90% of their distribution range compared with one-fifth (141) in the UK. In Estonia, 99 species lost >50% of their range compared with 127 species in the UK. Persistence was very positively related to original range in both countries. Major differences in species persistence between the studied countries were primarily determined by biogeographic (affiliation to floristic element) and ecoevolutionary (plant strategy) factors. In contrast, within-country persistence was most strongly determined by tolerance of anthropogenic activities. Decline of species in the families Orchidaceae and Potamogetonaceae was significantly greater in the UK than in Estonia. Almost all of the 736 common and native European plant species in our study are currently declining in their range due to pressure from anthropogenic activities. Those species with low tolerance of human activity, with biotic pollination vectors and in the families referred to above are the most vulnerable, especially where human population density is high.

PLoS One ; 7(9): e44221, 2012.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22957054


Clonal growth allows plants to spread horizontally and to establish ramets in sites of contrasting resource status. If ramets remain physiologically integrated, clones in heterogeneous environments can act as cooperative systems--effects of stress on one ramet can be ameliorated by another connected ramet inhabiting benign conditions. But little is known about the effects of patch contrast on physiological integration of clonal plants and no study has addressed its effects on physiological traits like osmolytes, reactive oxygen intermediates and antioxidant enzymes. We examined the effect of physiological integration on survival, growth and stress indicators such as osmolytes, reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs) and antioxidant enzymes in a clonal plant, Fragaria orientalis, growing in homogenous and heterogeneous environments differing in patch contrast of water availability (1 homogeneous (no contrast) group; 2 low contrast group; 3 high contrast group). Drought stress markedly reduced the survival and growth of the severed ramets of F. orientalis, especially in high contrast treatments. Support from a ramet growing in benign patch considerably reduced drought stress and enhanced growth of ramets in dry patches. The larger the contrast between water availability, the larger the amount of support the depending ramet received from the supporting one. This support strongly affected the growth of the supporting ramet, but not to an extent to cause increase in stress indicators. We also found indication of costs related to maintenance of physiological connection between ramets. Thus, the net benefit of physiological integration depends on the environment and integration between ramets of F. orientalis could be advantageous only in heterogeneous conditions with a high contrast.

Secas , Fragaria/metabolismo , Antioxidantes/química , Biomassa , Meio Ambiente , Fragaria/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Peróxido de Hidrogênio/química , Luz , Fotossíntese , Folhas de Planta/metabolismo , Fenômenos Fisiológicos Vegetais , Espécies Reativas de Oxigênio , Solo , Água/química