Changes in the life strategy and adaptation of the reproductive strategy of Carex digitata to disturbances factors

Grażyna Łaska



The aim of the paper was to define a relationship between the structure and dynamics of the Carex digitata population. Additionally, modifications in the development of an individual and its life strategy in disturbed communities were analysed. The species was studied in the natural and anthropogenically disturbed oak-hornbeam communities over 23-years of research (1987-2009) conducted on permanent plots in the Knyszyńska Forest. The results of the research indicate that in the natural community, C. digitata individuals reach the phase of flowering and fruition in the 4th year of the life cycle, while in the disturbed community dominated by pine trees - in the 2nd year of the life cycle. Modification of the C. digitata life cycle can be attributed to different reactions of individuals to disturbances in the community, microclimatic, phenological and biocenotic balance to which C. digitata is exposed as a results of the degeneration (pinetization) of the community. The sedge responds differently to specific ecological conditions in the natural and anthropogenically disturbed oak-hornbeam communities due to different life strategies, which affect morphological and developmental features of individual plants, and thus induces changes in the structure and dynamics of populations. This is reflected in a different spatial organization, age structure, size diversity of the individual plants, as well as in various mechanisms regulating the number of individual plants in a population.


life-history strategies; Carex digitata; long-term study; demography; disturbance

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