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Succession in Wetlands: A Gleasonian Appraoch
- van der Valk, A. G.
- Ecology 1981 v.62 no.3 pp. 688-696
- environmental factors, freshwater, life history, longevity, mature plants, models, wetlands
- A qualitative model of succession in freshwater wetlands is proposed, based on the life history features of the species involved. Three key life history traits can be used to characterize wetland species: life—span, propagule longevity, and propagule establishment requirements. By combining these three life history traits, 12 basic wetland life history types are recognized. For each life history type, the future state (presence only in the form of propagules in the seed bank, presence as adult plants, or complete absence) of each species type in a wetland can be predicted if environmental conditions change. Most of the information needed to apply this model to a particular wetland can be obtained by an examination of a wetland's seed bank. Several examples of succesion in North American and African wetlands are presented to illustrate the application of the model.