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Development of vegetation patterns in early primary succession
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Vegetation Science, ISSN 1100-9233, E-ISSN 1654-1103, Vol. 21, no 3, 531-540 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Question We investigated colonisation filters in early plant community development on a glacial outwash plain. We asked if these were related to seed limitation or to a lack of safe sites, if topographical heterogeneity affected species patchiness and how species life cycles influence successional trajectories. Location An outwash plain (Skeithararsandur) in southeast Iceland. Methods We identified surface heterogeneity at two different scales, ca. 10-15 cm (larger stones and established plants) and ca. 50 m (shallow depressions representing dry river beds) at two study sites. We quantified species cover, flowering plant density, seed production, seed rain, seed bank density, seedling emergence and seedling survival from June 2005 to June 2007 for the whole plant community, and measured seed production for five species. Results Mean vegetation cover was < 2.5% at the sites. Low emergence rates and high seedling mortality were the two main recruitment filters. Only 1.4% of seedlings emerging in 2005 survived into the 2007 growing season. Topographical heterogeneity had little effect on plant colonisation. High annual variation was recorded, and the two study sites (ca. 2 km apart) differed in their colonisation success. Of the five species, establishment of Cerastium alpinum and Silene uniflora was most limited by lack of seeds, whereas establishment of Luzula spicata, Poa glauca and Rumex acetosella was most limited by safe sites. Conclusions We conclude that colonisation processes and patterns in early primary succession on Skeithararsandur were largely influenced by stochastic factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 21, no 3, 531-540 p.
Keyword [en]
Iceland, Microsite, Outwash plain, Recruitment, Seed bank, Seedling survival, Seed rain, Topography
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49931DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2009.01161.xISI: 000276656500010OAI: diva2:379977
authorCount :3Available from: 2010-12-20 Created: 2010-12-20 Last updated: 2010-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Marteinsdottir, Bryndis
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