Disturbance and Diversity in Low-Productivity Ecosystems

Hugh D. Safford and Chris R. Mallek

in Serpentine

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268357
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948457 | DOI:
Disturbance and Diversity in Low-Productivity Ecosystems

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  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Given the great differences in productivity between serpentine and nonserpentine habitats, coupled with the heightened presence of endemics and species of conservation concern in the former, it would seem that ecologists interested in studying the factors regulating diversity would gravitate to field and laboratory comparisons across this natural productivity gradient. However, such comparative studies remain rare, even in places where serpentine soils are a common part of the landscape. This chapter reviews ecological studies of disturbance in serpentine vegetation, focusing on general patterns in the responses of plant species diversity to large ungulate herbivory, fire, and soil disturbance.

Keywords: serpentine vegetation; plant species diversity; herbivory; fire; soil disturbance

Chapter.  10123 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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