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Effects of Experimental Burial on Survival, Growth, and Resource Allocation of Three Species of Dune Plants

Jennifer F. Brown
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 85, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 151-158
DOI: 10.2307/2960647
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2960647
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Effects of Experimental Burial on Survival, Growth, and Resource Allocation of Three Species of Dune Plants
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Abstract

1 Changes in the survival, allocation of resources and growth rate of three dune plant species from Mono Lake, CA were studied in response to experimental burial. Dominant species, the shrubs, Sarcobatus vermiculatus and Chrysothamnus nauseosus, and the grass, Distichlis spicata, were used. 2 In both field and pot experiments, plants were buried at four different levels: no burial, partial burial, initial complete burial, and complete burial repeated every two weeks. 3 All species survived partial burial. S. vermiculatus and D. spicata were much more tolerant of repeated burial than was C. nauseosus. 4 As the severity of burial increased, all species shifted biomass from below-ground to above-ground components. Nitrogen allocation in S. vermiculatus and C. nauseosus shifted from roots to stems and leaves. 5 The only change in relative growth rate found in response to any of the burial treatments was a decline in that of S. vermiculatus in the field experiment. Relative growth rate of all species was more highly correlated with net assimilation rate than with leaf area ratio. 6 The outcomes of the two experiments were sometimes different, emphasizing the importance of confirming the results of pot experiments with field experiments before drawing ecological conclusions. 7 Desert dune plants survive burial in much the same manner as do coastal dune plants.

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