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Selection: Decocq:G [5 articles] 

Publications by author Decocq:G.

The concept of potential natural vegetation: an epitaph?

Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 21, No. 6. (December 2010), pp. 1172-1178,


We discuss the usefulness of the concept of Potential Natural Vegetation (PNV), which describes the expected state of mature vegetation in the absence of human intervention. We argue that it is impossible to model PNV because of (i) the methodological problems associated to its definition and (ii) the issues related to the ecosystems dynamics.We conclude that the approach to characterizing PNV is unrealistic and provides scenarios with limited predictive power. In places with a long-term human history, interpretations of PNV need ...


Drivers of temporal changes in temperate forest plant diversity vary across spatial scales

Global Change Biology, Vol. 21, No. 10. (1 October 2015), pp. 3726-3737,


Global biodiversity is affected by numerous environmental drivers. Yet, the extent to which global environmental changes contribute to changes in local diversity is poorly understood. We investigated biodiversity changes in a meta-analysis of 39 resurvey studies in European temperate forests (3988 vegetation records in total, 17–75 years between the two surveys) by assessing the importance of (i) coarse-resolution (i.e., among sites) vs. fine-resolution (i.e., within sites) environmental differences and (ii) changing environmental conditions between surveys. Our results clarify the mechanisms underlying the ...


Interacting effects of warming and drought on regeneration and early growth of Acer pseudoplatanus and A. platanoides

Plant Biology, Vol. 17, No. 1. (1 January 2015), pp. 52-62,


Climate change is acting on several aspects of plant life cycles, including the sexual reproductive stage, which is considered amongst the most sensitive life-cycle phases. In temperate forests, it is expected that climate change will lead to a compositional change in community structure due to changes in the dominance of currently more abundant forest tree species. Increasing our understanding of the effects of climate change on currently secondary tree species recruitment is therefore important to better understand and forecast population and ...


The ‘masking effect’ of silviculture on substrate-induced plant diversity in oak-hornbeam forests from northern France

Biodiversity & Conservation In Biodiversity & Conservation, Vol. 9, No. 11. (2000), pp. 1467-1491,


Traditional measures of plant diversity from phytosociological relevés are used to compare floristical richness and diversity between different oak-hornbeam forest stands of Thiérache (Northern France). Five sets of physiognomically similar forests are distinguished according to the geological substrate: schists and sandstones, loess on schists, loess on calcareous rocks, jurassic limestones, cretaceous marls and clays. Plant species diversity is investigated at two scale levels: a phytocoenotic level and a synusial one which is supposed to partly avoid a possible silviculture-related bias. Two ...


Latitudinal gradients as natural laboratories to infer species' responses to temperature

Journal of Ecology, Vol. 101, No. 3. (1 May 2013), pp. 784-795,


* Macroclimatic variation along latitudinal gradients provides an excellent natural laboratory to investigate the role of temperature and the potential impacts of climate warming on terrestrial organisms. * Here, we review the use of latitudinal gradients for ecological climate change research, in comparison with altitudinal gradients and experimental warming, and illustrate their use and caveats with a meta-analysis of latitudinal intraspecific variation in important life-history traits of vascular plants. * We first provide an overview of latitudinal patterns in temperature and ...

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