Influence of climate induced stream flow changes on the regeneration of flood plain species - KLIWAS-Project 5.06: Climate change and its impact on floodplain vegetation.
Involved scientists: Dipl.-Geogr. Bianka Zelle, Dipl. Biol. Eva Mosner (Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde, Koblenz), Dr. P. Horchler (Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde, Koblenz), PD Dr. Rolf Lutz Eckstein, Prof. Dr. Dr. Annette Otte, Dr. Tobias W. Donath
Project period: 2010 - 2013
Keywords: flood plain, germination ecology, climate change, nature conservation, restoration ecology
Due to hydrological manipulations and intensified agricultural management flood plain ecosystems belong to the most threatened habitats in Germany and Europe. As a consequence of their rapid decline, habitats such as flood meadows, alluvial forests and ephemeral mudflat vegetation, are listed in the Appendixes of FFH-directive (92/43/EWG). The composition and structure of these plant communities highly depend on the prevailing hydrological dynamics. Especially the flooding tolerance of species during different episodes of their live-cycle leads to the typical zonation of plant communities along the prevailing gradient of flooding duration.
It is expected that in flood plain ecosystems climate change will induce changes in the stream flow, temperature, and precipitation. For the long-term conservation and restoration of floodplain plant communities it is crucial to assess the possible impacts of climatically induced habitat changes. Beyond modelling the expected shift in plant communities it is important to understand the underlying processes and mechanisms. To this end, we will address topics of seed ecology, seed bank ecology, germination ecology and vegetation ecology in field and lab experiments.
Ludewig K., Zelle B., Eckstein R.L., Mosner E., Otte A. & Donath T.W.: Differential effects of reduced water potentials on the germination of floodplain grassland species indicative of wet and dry habitats. Seed Science Research - accepted