Evol Ecol Res 17: 699-712 (2016)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Influence of anthropogenic disturbance on the number and composition of plant species in sparsely populated areas: a case study of Udomlya district (Tver region, European Russia)

Polina A. Volkova, Liudmila A. Abramova, Maksim Yu. Grigoryan, Maria O. Ivanova, Elizaveta K. Sekretova and Nikita P. Tikhomirov

Moscow Southwest High School No. 1543, Moscow, Russia

Correspondence: P.A. Volkova, Moscow Southwest High School No. 1543, 26 Bakinskikh Komissarov Street, 3–5, 119571 Moscow, Russia. email: avolkov@orc.ru


Question: What is the relationship between the number of native and non-native plant species in sparsely populated territories? How does anthropogenic disturbance influence plant species composition and diversity? Do non-native plants increase the homogeneity of the flora?

Data: The flora of Udomlya district (Tver region, central part of European Russia) mapped into 96 squares, each 5 km × 5 km.

Method: We searched for correlations (corrected for spatial autocorrelation) between the number of native and non-native plant species, and indicators of anthropogenic habitat transformation. We also used cluster analysis (Jacquard’s similarity coefficient, Ward’s method of agglomeration) to determine whether the squares cluster into floristic groups, and if so, into how many clusters. Finally, we determined indicator species for each group based on the IndVal index.

Conclusions: Both the number of native and non-native plant species increases with anthropogenic or natural disturbances in association with high landscape heterogeneity. Non-native plants decrease the homogeneity of the flora. We found two floristic groups of squares. A square belonged to a group depending mainly on that group’s degree of anthropogenic transformation.

Keywords: plant species diversity, plant richness, invasive species, anthropogenic disturbance, non-native species, floristic composition, Udomlya district, Tver region, Russia.

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