Gap-phase dynamics and succession in the shortgrass steppe
Previous conceptualizations of succession in shortgrass plant communities have focused on the effects of large-scale disturbances with the conclusion that the dominant plant species, blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. ex Griffiths] fails to recover after a disturbance. My overall objective was to apply a gap dynamics approach based on small, frequently-occurring disturbances to shortgrass plant communities with the hypothesis that the death of a fullsize B. gracilis plant results in a gap in the belowground resource space and initiates the successional processes of gap dynamics. I ...
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