Specific features in the distribution of plant species differing in their attitude toward thermal conditions have been studied in communities of the present-day timberline ecotone on Mount Iremel’ in the Southern Urals. It has been shown that the distribution of such species is characterized by significant spatial nonuniformity. Elevation above sea level, local conditions in habitats located at the same altitudinal level, and specific features of mountain slopes account for 13–84, 5–30, and 0.4–14% of the total variance of test parameters, respectively. The abundance of plants changes nonlinearly along the altitudinal gradient, whereas changes in the species diversity of different plant groups have an almost linear pattern. Marked differences between plant communities with respect to the proportions of species differently responding to changes in thermal conditions have been revealed on all slopes in the upper part of the timberline ecotone, upon transition from the slopes proper to the plateau-like areas of intermontane depressions.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 6, 2006
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