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Accumulation of nutrients and biomass during primairy succession and the effect of a shifting allocation pattern on a vegetation

Koppel, J. van de (1992) Accumulation of nutrients and biomass during primairy succession and the effect of a shifting allocation pattern on a vegetation. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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We investigated the changes in stand structure, nutrient distribution and various soil factors during the transition from herbaceous to forest vegetation in two successional sequences on the island of Schiermonnikoog. A previous study indicated nitrogen to be an important limiting factor during the early stages of these successional series. Phosphorus limitation is likely to occur in (more) later stages of succession. Although we found a dramatically increasing C/P ratio in the soil along both sequences, we do not yet have further evidence for the occurrence of phosphorus limitation. The nitrogen fixing shrub Hippophae rhamrioides is likely to have a strong influence on the accumulation speed of nitrogen in the dune sequence. During primary succession an increasing nutrient availability causes a shift in the allocation pattern of plants. A higher proportion of the production will be allocated to plant organs with a lower maintenance requirement. We discuss a model dealing with changes in biomass of several stand compartments caused by a change in resource availability. We compared the changes in biomass and nutrient contents of several compartments during primary succession from bare soil to plain- or dune forest with the trends resulting from the model. We suggest two causes of the increase in biomass, the increasing productivity which is the result of a decreasing relative allocation to the root system and a decreasing specific respiration for the whole vegetation. For both sequences the maximum amount of root per square meter was found in the 28 year old stage. This indicates, according to the model, a shift in allocation from plant organs with a high maintenance to plant organs with low maintenance driven by an increased nutrient availability.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:47
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:47

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