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The River as a Factor of Plant Distribution

S. Illichevsky
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 21, No. 2 (Aug., 1933), pp. 436-441
DOI: 10.2307/2256591
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2256591
Page Count: 6
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The River as a Factor of Plant Distribution
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Abstract

The vegetation in river valleys of the eastern part of the Eurasian continent displays a great and constant difference between the inundated and non-inundated parts of the valley. There are many species growing only in the parts of the valleys inundated in spring or, on the other hand, only in the non-inundated parts; thus we have two primary zones or belts quite distinct in their vegetation and not coinciding with river terraces nor with soil belts. In the same manner the vegetation of the "second sandy terrace" of the left bank is also quite distinct. And there are parallel species replacing one another in the several belts and zones just as there are in the several plant associations--"ecological series" of species. In different latitudes and climates plants change their habitats, and this change compensates for the lack of physiological adaptability, which is not so great as is generally supposed. In the same locality species and communities of more northern or more southern type exist side by side, ranging from desert vegetation to that of the northern swamps or tundra, each with its characteristic species, microclimate, soil conditions and even landscape.

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