Landscape patterns and diversity of meadow plants and flower-visitors in a mountain landscape

Year: 
2018
Publications Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Number: 
5075
Citation: 

Jones, Julia A.; Hutchinson, Rebecca; Moldenke, Andy; Pfeiffer, Vera; Helderop, Edward; Thomas, Elaina; Griffin, Josh; Reinholtz, Amanda. 2018. Landscape patterns and diversity of meadow plants and flower-visitors in a mountain landscape. Landscape Ecology. doi: 10.1007/s10980-018-0740-y

Abstract: 

Context:
Wild flowering plants and their wild insect visitors are of great importance for pollination. Montane meadows are biodiversity hotspots for flowering plants and pollinators, but they are contracting due to tree invasion.

Objectives:
This study quantified flowering plants and their flower-visitor species in montane meadows in the western Cascade Range of Oregon. Species diversity in small, isolated meadows was expected to be lower and nested relative to large meadows. Alternatively, landform features may influence richness and spatial turnover.

Methods:
Flowering plants and their visitors were sampled in summers of 2011–2017 in twelve montane meadows with varying soil moisture. All flowering plants and all flower-visitors were recorded during five to seven 15 min watches in ten 3?×?3 m plots in each meadow and year.

Results:
A total of 178 flowering plant species, 688 flower-visitor species and 137,916 interactions were identified. Richness of flower-visitors was related to meadow patch size, but neither plant nor flower-visitor richness was related to isolation measured as meadow area within 1000 m. Species in small meadows were not nested subsets of those in large meadows. Species replacement accounted for more than 78% of dissimilarity between meadows and was positively related to differences in soil moisture.

Conclusions:
Although larger meadows contained more species, landform features have influenced meadow configuration, persistence, and soil moisture, contributing to high plant and insect species diversity. Hence, conservation and restoration of a variety of meadow types may promote landscape diversity of wild plants and pollinators.

Keywords:
Functional connectivity Species replacement Spatial turnover Nestedness Soil moisture HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Meadow restoration