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Journal Article

Spatial and Temporal Variation of Seed Distributions in Sonoran Desert Soils

O. J. Reichman
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Jan., 1984), pp. 1-11
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2844771
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2844771
Page Count: 11
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Spatial and Temporal Variation of Seed Distributions in Sonoran Desert Soils
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Abstract

Samples taken in seventeen different microhabitats in the Sonoran Desert, NW of Tucson, Arizona (U.S.A), revealed large variation in spatial (78-fold) and temporal (28-fold) patterns of seed distribution. Seed densities were lowest in normally dry washes and open areas between shrubs, were intermediate between shrubs, and were highest in artificial and naturally occurring depressions in the soil surface. There were microsites with high seed densities within microhabitats of low overall seed density. Differences between micro-habitats were greatest during periods of high seed production and tended to disappear in seasons when rainfall was low. Seed densities were not correlated with shrub canopy volume, but were correlated with the dimensions of microtopographic depressions. Seeds which were small, or round, tended to form higher density patches than large or long seeds.

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