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Micro-Pattern in an Area of New Zealand Alpine Vegetation

David A. Weir and J. Bastow Wilson
Vegetatio
Vol. 73, No. 2 (Jan. 1, 1988), pp. 81-88
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20038230
Page Count: 8
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Micro-Pattern in an Area of New Zealand Alpine Vegetation
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Abstract

An area of New Zealand alpine herbfield, 22 × 22 m, was sampled on a 3 × 3 m grid. Two community types could be distinguished, dominated respectively by the cushion epacrid Dracophyllum muscoides and the subshrub asterad Celmisia viscosa. Each type was subdivided into three communities. The distribution of these communities was correlated with the environmental factors measured, with a predictability of up to 81%. Some of the factors, such as soil organic matter, could have been influenced by the vegetation, but others were microtopographic ones, unlikely to have been so influenced. There was no evidence of cyclic succession. Possibly the distribution of the two major types reflects previous patch burns, but distributions of individual communities are related to the current environment. Association between the more common species revealed two very clear groups, which characterise, but are not exclusive to, the two community types.

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