Changes in abiotic influences on seed plants and ferns during 18 years of primary succession on Puerto Rican landslides
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Journal of Ecology. 101(3): 650-661.
Abiotic variables are critical drivers of succession in most primary seres, but how their influence on biota changes over time is rarely examined. Landslides provide good model systems for examining abiotic influences because they are spatially and temporally heterogeneous habitats with distinct abiotic and biotic gradients and post-landslide erosion. In an 18-year study on 6 Puerto Rican landslides, we used structural equation models to interpret the changing effects of abiotic influences (landslide dimensions, slope, aspect, elevation, parent material and related soil properties) on seed plants (density and diversity), tree fern density, scrambling fern cover, canopy openness and soil development (nitrogen, soil organic matter, pH and cation exchange capacity).
Keywordscatchment; determinants of plant community diversity and structure; disturbance; diversity; erosion; hurricane; scrambling fern; slope; structural equation modelling; tree fern; tropical forest
Walker, Lawrence R.; Shiels, Aaron B.; Bellingham, Peter J.; Sparrow, Ashley D.; Fetcher, Ned; Landau, Fred H.; Lodge, Deborah J. 2013. Changes in abiotic influences on seed plants and ferns during 18 years of primary succession on Puerto Rican landslides. Journal of Ecology. 101(3): 650-661. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12071.