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Publication Type J
Authors Noe, G. B. and J. B. Zedler
Title Spatio-temporal variation of salt marsh seedling establishment in relation to the abiotic and biotic environment
Source Journal of Vegetation Science
Author Keywords annual plant ENSO exotic species heterogeneity soil moisture soil salinity southern California upper intertidal marsh plant-communities species-richness germination salinity annuals distributions vegetation california ordination habitats
Abstract Contrary to our expectations, soil salinity and moisture explained little of the spatial variation in plant establishment in the upper intertidal marsh of three southern California wetlands, but did explain the timing of germination. Seedlings of 27 species were identified in 1996 and 1997. The seedlings were abundant (maximum densities of 2143/m(2) in 1996 and 1819/m(2) in 1997) and predominantly annual species. CCAs quantified the spatial variation in seedling density that could be explained by three groups of predictor variables: (1) perennial plant cover, elevation and soil texture (16% of variation), (2) wetland identity (14% of variation) and (3) surface soil salinity and moisture (2% of variation). Increasing the spatial scale of analysis changed the variables that best predicted patterns of species densities. Timing of germination depended on surface soil salinity and, to a lesser extent, soil moisture. Germination occurred after salinity had dropped below a threshold or, in some cases, after moisture had increased above a critical level. Between 32% and 92% of the seedlings were exotic and most of these occurred at lower soil salinity than native species. However, Parapholis incurva a and Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum were found in the same environments as the native species. In 1997, the year of a strong El Nino/Southern Oscillation event with high rainfall and sea levels, the elevation distribution of species narrowed and densities of P. incurva and other exotic species decreased but densities of native and rare species did not change. The 'regeneration niche' of wetland plant communities include the effects of multiple abiotic and biotic factors on both the spatial and temporal variations in plant establishment.
Author Address San Diego State Univ, Pacific Estuarine Res Lab, San Diego, CA 92182 USA. Noe, GB, Florida Int Univ, SE Environm Res Ctr, Univ Pk,OE-148, Miami, FL 33199 USA.
Publication Date Feb
Year Published 2001
Volume 12
Issue 1
Beginning Page 61-74
Unique Article Identifier ISI:000168229700007
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