Planned Special Feature of JVS: Dispersal and establishment as drivers of vegetation dynamics and resilience

Guest editors: Péter Török, James Bullock, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Judit Sonkoly

Plant regeneration plays a decisive role in vegetation dynamics by underpinning local and landscape-scale processes, biodiversity patterns, and community resilience to abiotic and anthropogenic disturbances. As establishment and recruitment depend greatly on spatial plant dispersal and the local propagule bank, studying their contributions to these processes is crucial. In particular, the ability of a community to recover after severe disturbance by species recruitment from external and internal sources is key in driving the non-equilibrium dynamics that are now accepted as a central concept for contemporary vegetation science. The most important internal source of plant community recruitment is the local persistent vegetative and generative propagule bank, in most cases located in the soil. The main external source of recovery is spatial plant dispersal via metapopulation dynamics. When explaining filtering and species assembly processes, plant dispersal is often oversimplified and considered simply as ‘seed rain’ and we need stronger links between dispersal and vegetation dynamics. Moreover, the regeneration of plant communities strongly depends on post-dispersal processes affecting propagules, seeds and seedlings. The aim of this special issue is to discuss the role of regeneration processes related to dispersal and establishment for understanding vegetation resilience in fragmented and disturbance-driven landscapes.

The collection of contributions in this Special Issue will address the role of plant dispersal and establishment in relation to abiotic stress, anthropogenic disturbances, vegetation dynamics and resilience of natural and semi-natural communities. Contributions may also include related topics such as seed banks and germination, if they are linked to regeneration processes influencing vegetation dynamics or resilience. Research papers on theoretical problems and case studies, as well as opinion and review papers fitting the topic are welcome.

Abstracts should be submitted as an MS Word file (*.doc) to Péter Török ( for evaluation with an extended deadline of 1st February, 2019. The format of the abstracts (length, style etc.) should be in agreement with the Author Guidelines of the Journal of Vegetation Science.