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DYNAMICS OF SOME ANNUAL POPULATIONS IN A DESERT LOESS PLAIN

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Germination, survival and seed production of annuals were observed for two years in 100 permanent quadrats (0.5 × 0.5 m), representing the vegetation of the loess plain Sede Zin in the Negev desert (average annual rainfall 90 mm). The first year (1972/73) was extremely dry (48 mm). Significant germination of many species occurred, but in most habitats survival and seed production were very low. Thus, germination resulted in considerable net population losses in some species. However, 1973/74 was rainy (155 mm), and germination occurred in a wider range of species and habitats. Survival and seed production were high and almost all populations recovered their losses or far exceeded them. An analysis of the demography of six species (Schismus arabicus, Spergularia diandra, Erodium bryoniifolium, Gymnarrhena micrantha, Carrichtera annua, Filago desertorum) in several habitats shows a rather different time-space pattern of germination, survival and seed production in each. This pattern can be related to a combination of the attributes seed size and shape, germination/rain response and dispersal mechanism, which is distinct for each of the six species.

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

10.1080/0021213X.1979.10676869
/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1979.10676869
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/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1979.10676869
1979-05-13
2018-06-20

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