Plant strategies along mountain vegetation gradients: a test of two theories

Plant strategies along mountain vegetation gradients: a test of two theories Abstract. We test the predictions of two theories on plant strategies along vegetation gradients of a North Scandinavian mountain area, from herb‐rich birch forests at 250 m. a.s.l. to the summit at 1530 m. a.s.l. According to Grime's theory, stressful physical conditions select for an adaptational syndrome called S‐strategy. The theory predicts that the prevalence of S‐strategic features increases monotonically from forests to high‐alpine boulder fields. Alternatively, the traits that Grime regards as S‐strategic can be interpreted as adaptations to high natural‐grazing pressure which culminates in moderately stressful habitats: productive enough to sustain grazers but yet so barren that moderate grazer densities suffice to deplete the vegetation. The observed vegetation patterns support this alternative view. We thus suggest that Grime's triangle should be revised as to make the role of grazing as the central causal factor behind the third strategy explicit. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Vegetation Science Wiley

Plant strategies along mountain vegetation gradients: a test of two theories

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
1992 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science
ISSN
1100-9233
eISSN
1654-1103
D.O.I.
10.2307/3235678
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract. We test the predictions of two theories on plant strategies along vegetation gradients of a North Scandinavian mountain area, from herb‐rich birch forests at 250 m. a.s.l. to the summit at 1530 m. a.s.l. According to Grime's theory, stressful physical conditions select for an adaptational syndrome called S‐strategy. The theory predicts that the prevalence of S‐strategic features increases monotonically from forests to high‐alpine boulder fields. Alternatively, the traits that Grime regards as S‐strategic can be interpreted as adaptations to high natural‐grazing pressure which culminates in moderately stressful habitats: productive enough to sustain grazers but yet so barren that moderate grazer densities suffice to deplete the vegetation. The observed vegetation patterns support this alternative view. We thus suggest that Grime's triangle should be revised as to make the role of grazing as the central causal factor behind the third strategy explicit.

Journal

Journal of Vegetation ScienceWiley

Published: Apr 1, 1992

References

  • Vegetational changes on two eroding banks of a short‐term regulated river reservoir in northern Sweden
    Grelsson, Grelsson
  • Plant succession in areas of scorched and blown‐down forest after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington
    Halpern, Halpern; Frenzen, Frenzen; Means, Means; Franklin, Franklin
  • Carbon dioxide exchange in Cladina lichens from subarctic and temperate habitats
    Lechowicz, Lechowicz

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