Effects of management and climate on the plant functional diversity related to ecosystem services of permanent grasslands in Europe

Abstract : Permanent grasslands can provide a large diversity of ecosystem services. They are found in contrasted conditions in terms of management and climate in Europe. These conditions induce a wide variety of grassland types that differ in their vegetation and are expected to differ with respect to the provision of ecosystem services. Because ecosystem functioning in grassland has been shown to be linked to plant functional diversity criteria, we put forward that these functional diversity criteria can be used to evaluate the provision of ecosystem services. These criteria are influenced by the management and the climate. The overall objective of this PhD program is to assess the effects of management and climate on the plant functional diversity related to ecosystem services of permanent grasslands. The first step of the PhD program was to select 29 functional diversity criteria related to 8 ecosystem services (quantity of forage, forage quality, stability of the forage production, biodiversity conservation, pollination carbon sequestration, dryness resistance and nitrogen fertility). This selection was made using experts' interview and literature survey. The second step was to evaluate inaccuracies in the calculation of the 29 functional diversity criteria from functional trait databases and different sets of botanical surveys. The third step was to estimate the functional diversity criteria from management and climate data using "Random Forests" methodology. The results show that the climatic variables had generally more effect on the functional diversity than the management ones. Furthermore, for some climatic conditions, the management does not affect some functional diversity criteria. Among the 29 functional diversity criteria, only 8 have more than 40 % of their variance explained by the management and climate variables
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Simon Taugourdeau. Effects of management and climate on the plant functional diversity related to ecosystem services of permanent grasslands in Europe. Agronomy. Université de Lorraine, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014LORR0039⟩. ⟨tel-02075327⟩

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