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The Afro-alpine dwarf shrub Helichrysum citrispinum favours understorey plants through microclimate amelioration

Title data

Schweiger, Andreas ; Otieno, Dennis O. ; Kulunge, Salum R. ; Reineking, Björn ; Tenhunen, John:
The Afro-alpine dwarf shrub Helichrysum citrispinum favours understorey plants through microclimate amelioration.
In: Plant Ecology & Diversity. Vol. 8 (2015) Issue 3 . - pp. 293-303.
ISSN 1755-0874
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17550874.2015.1014207

Abstract in another language

Background: Positive plant – plant interactions similar to specialised plant growth forms are potential strategies to overcome the environmental harshness of Afro-alpine ecosystems. However, knowledge about plant – plant interactions is limited for African alpine regions.Aims: We investigated the ameliorative effect of the densely leaved dwarf shrub Helichrysum citrispinum on two frequently co-occurring herbaceous plant species in the alpine zone of Mt. Kilimanjaro.Methods: We recorded microclimatic conditions, plant water potentials and gross primary production (GPP) for plants of the low-growing perennial Alchemilla johnstonii and the tussock grass Festuca abyssinica and compared these parameters between open sites and under H. citrispinum shrubs between July and August 2012.Results: Shrubs significantly buffered daily variation and extreme values of irradiation, air-, plant surface- and soil-temperatures as well as vapour pressure de fi cit. We found enhanced plant water potentials and gross primary production for shaded plants of both species investigated; ameliorative effects were higher for A. johnstonii than for F. abyssinica.Conclusions: Habitat amelioration of H. citrispinum significantly improves the productivity of plant species that grow under the shrub, although the net outcome may be affected by interspecific growth form differences. Future studies on positive plant – plant interactions should more strongly focus on the ecophysiological consequences of habitat amelioration.Link

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER128612
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2016 06:46
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 11:05
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/33814