Short-term response of old-field plant communities to fire and disturbance

Mark, Alan MCGINLEY, David TILMAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

We examined the mechanisms that cause short-term changes in old-field plant communities in the 1st yr following two different disturbances: tilling and burning. In particular, we wanted to determine whether short-term changes in plant community structure following disturbance were more strongly influenced by interspecific differences in growth rates or interspecific differences in germination and establishment ability. Because the density of annual plants varied more across treatments than plant size, we concluded that differences in germination and establishment were important causes of community change in the 1st yr following disturbance. Thus, a more detailed mechanistic understanding of the factors influencing germination and establishment will be necessary to understand community patterns in this old-field system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume129
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

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