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A conceptual model linking demography of the shrub species Grewia flava to the dynamics of Kalahari savannas

  • Environmental heterogeneity is a major determinant of plant population dynamics. In semi-arid Kalahari savannas, heterogeneity is created by savanna structure, i.e. by the spatial arrangement and temporal dynamics of woody plant and open grassland microsites. We formulate a conceptual model describing the effects of savanna dynamics on the population dynamics of the animal-dispersed shrub Grewia flava. From empirical results we derive model rules describing effects of savanna structure on several processes in Grewia's life cycle. By formulating the model, we summarise existing information on Grewia demography and identify gaps in this knowledge. Despite a number of such gaps, the model can be used to make certain quantitative predictions. As an example, we apply the model to investigate the role of seed dispersal in Grewia encroachment on rangelands. Model results show that cattle promote encroachment by depositing substantial numbers of seeds in open areas, where Grewia is otherwise dispersal-limited. Finally, we draw some generalEnvironmental heterogeneity is a major determinant of plant population dynamics. In semi-arid Kalahari savannas, heterogeneity is created by savanna structure, i.e. by the spatial arrangement and temporal dynamics of woody plant and open grassland microsites. We formulate a conceptual model describing the effects of savanna dynamics on the population dynamics of the animal-dispersed shrub Grewia flava. From empirical results we derive model rules describing effects of savanna structure on several processes in Grewia's life cycle. By formulating the model, we summarise existing information on Grewia demography and identify gaps in this knowledge. Despite a number of such gaps, the model can be used to make certain quantitative predictions. As an example, we apply the model to investigate the role of seed dispersal in Grewia encroachment on rangelands. Model results show that cattle promote encroachment by depositing substantial numbers of seeds in open areas, where Grewia is otherwise dispersal-limited. Finally, we draw some general conclusions about Grewia's life history and population dynamics. Under natural conditions, concentrated seed deposition under woody plants appears to be a key process causing the observed association between Grewia and other woody plants. Furthermore, low rates of recruitment and high adult survival result in slow-motion dynamics of Grewia populations. As a consequence, Grewia populations interact with savanna dynamics on long temporal and short to intermediate spatial scales.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Frank Martin SchurrGND, W. R. J. Dean, Sue J. Milton, Florian JeltschORCiDGND
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2004
Year of Completion:2004
Release Date:2017/03/24
Source:Results of worldwide ecological studies / Hrsg.: S.-W. Breckle ; B. Schweizer ; A. Fangmeier. - Stuttgart : Heimbach, 2004. - S. 281 - 296
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Nicht referiert