Together with dr. Anna Orczewska (University of Silesia in Katowice) and dr. Marcin Dyderski (Institute of Dendrology Polish Academy of Sciences) we demonstrated how different ecological mechanisms (niche differentiation, interspecific competition and habitat filtering) shape the functional composition of well-preserved Molinia meadows. We identified high niche differentiation (and low habitat fileting) as the main mechanism determining the co-occurrence of the entire group of species typical of Molinia meadows. High importance of this mechanism may also indicate the high variability of different ways of the environmental resources utilisation demonstrated by single species. Moreover, a low level of interspecific competition could be regarded as an important mechanism positively influencing their occurrence. In the light of this finding, the conservation of well-developed Molinia meadows should predominantly focus on the community level and maintain a complex of specific microhabitat conditions.
Link to full article: https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12983