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Plants; Botanical surveys


Plants are seldom distributed uniformly, if an area of much size is considered, since even the smallest environmental differences may affect the success of some species. This study is an attempt to correlate the nonrandom distribution of plants in one prairie area with one measurable environmental factor, namely waterholding capacity. The well known phenomenon of zonation concerns a marked change in environment and therefore in species, and, as seems quite obvious, therefore also a change in plant communities. What might seem more obvious than real, however, is the boundary between any two of these so-called communities. It is possible that one cause of "contagious" distribution might be related to local differences in microhabitat, or in other words, a sort of patchwork of the zonation concept. Cain and Evans (1952) list differences in reproduction as one possible cause of species distribution within a stand. Evans and Dahl (1955) concluded that topographic variability was primarily responsible for the major distribution pattern of vegetation in a 50-year-old abandoned field. The effect of these minor topographic differences on soil moisture was inferred but not determined.

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Botany Commons



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