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Individualistic Patterns of Annuals and Biennials in Early Successional Oldfields

R. W. Myster and S. T. A. Pickett
Vegetatio
Vol. 78, No. 1/2 (Dec. 15, 1988), pp. 53-60
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20038366
Page Count: 8
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Individualistic Patterns of Annuals and Biennials in Early Successional Oldfields
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Abstract

The importance of Gleasonian species individuality, with its relation to life history strategies in succession, has been implied by studies lasting only a few years, or studies relying on chronosequences. Even in long-term studies, it has been addressed without statistical tests. Here, we examine the first six years of succession in permanent plots on ten contrasting oldfields to statistically determine the role of species individuality in early oldfield succession. Percent cover data were collected each summer in 48 permanent plots in ten oldfields as part of the Buell Succession Study at the Hutcheson Memorial Forest on the New Jersey Piedmont, USA. Congruent patterns of mean percent cover over time clearly reflect life history strategies of annuals and biennials. Kendall's coefficient of concordance, calculated for population patterns of annuals or biennials in each oldfield, confirms that population patterns within life form groups are similar and supports the contention that life history strategies are important in determining successional pattern once species become established in an oldfield. Profile analysis, a statistical test for parallelism among species patterns, performed on all population patterns in each oldfield, confirms that these patterns are individualistic. The individualistic pattern implies that succession may be driven by the different strategies of dispersal, growth, and resource use of the species involved.

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