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Tree Community Dynamics in a Humid Savanna of the Cote-d'Ivoire: Modelling the Effects of Fire and Competition with Grass and Neighbours

J. C. Menaut, J. Gignoux, C. Prado and J. Clobert
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 17, No. 4/5, Savanna Ecology and Management: Australian Perspectives and Intercontinental Comparisons (Jul. - Sep., 1990), pp. 471-481
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2845379
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2845379
Page Count: 11
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Tree Community Dynamics in a Humid Savanna of the Cote-d'Ivoire: Modelling the Effects of Fire and Competition with Grass and Neighbours
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Abstract

Humid savannas are often made of woody groves and grassy patches in which a few woody individuals develop. A simulation model has been built to explore (1) the role of dispersal and individual growth in community structure; (2) the role of local-neighbourhood competition on seedling and adult survival; (3) the interaction between fire and vegetation structure. To study local interactions and neighbourhood relationships, computations were performed at the individual level and space is explicitly taken into account. Competition has been treated as a whole on the basis of above ground relationships between individuals, and has a relatively weak effect. Competition for water in the upper horizons of the soil should be more efficient at limiting clump development. The average fire regime cannot prevent these savannas from being invaded by trees. Only a combination of strong competition between individuals and episodic fierce burning should regulate tree density in the long term.

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