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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Is the concept “ecosystem structure and function,” taken as implying biological interaction and regulation, useful in understanding deserts? Some theoretical arguments and some evidence indicate that the direct, unidirectional and independent responses of plant and animal populations to environmental variations may be sufficient to explain most ecological phenomena in deserts. There is clear evidence to the contrary for some phenomena: competition between shrubs; mutual regulation of granivores and annual plants; local modification of climate and soil around shrubs creating and maintaining biologically distinct micro-ecosystems.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


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