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ECOLOGY OF LINEAR DUNES: II. DIFFERENTIAL DEMOGRAPHIC RESPONSES OF ANNUAL PLANTS TO LOCAL SCALE VARIATION IN SAND STABILITY

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An experimental study was designed to investigate the demographic mechanisms by which annual plants inhabiting desert sand dunes respond to local gradients in the stability of the sand. The results indicated that individual plants emerging at different topographic positions along the dune experience different probabilities of survival and reproduction. The general trend observed was a decrease in seedling survival, plant biomass, fecundity, reproductive allocation, and fruit weight from the relatively stable, interdune corridor towards the unstable crest of the dune. However, all of these demographic responses were highly species-specific, indicating that coexisting annual species respond differentially to underlying patterns of spatial heterogeneity in the stability of the sand. These results suggest that local-scale spatial heterogeneity in sand stability may be important in promoting coexistence of desert sand dune annuals.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

10.1080/07929978.1994.10676580
/content/journals/10.1080/07929978.1994.10676580
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/content/journals/10.1080/07929978.1994.10676580
1994-05-13
2018-06-18

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