Comparison of niche breadths and overlaps of halophytes on salt marshes of differing diversity

Russell, P J, Flowers, T J and Hutchings, M J (1985) Comparison of niche breadths and overlaps of halophytes on salt marshes of differing diversity. Plant Ecology, 61 (1-3). pp. 171-178. ISSN 1385-0237

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Comparisons were made of niche breadths and niche overlaps of halophytes growing in two emergent saltmarsh communities differing in the number of their constituent species and in diversity. Niche parameters were calculated along the major niche dimension of tidal inundation which was assessed using three related measurements, namely height on the marsh, number of submergences per year, and longest period of continuous exposure. This reduces the danger of measuring niches on one resource dimension along which species exhibit non-linear responses. Results obtained using these three measurements were very similar. Mean niche overlaps were significantly smaller, and most species had lower niche breadths, on the marsh with more diverse vegetation. These results agree with Pianka's (1974) niche overlap hypothesis; they indicate that competitive interactions between species are acting with different intensity on the two marshes, and that such interactions are important in determining the distribution limits of both low-and high-marsh species in the emergent salt-marsh community.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany > QK0710 Plant physiology
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 14 May 2012 13:49
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:13
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