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Last Update:
February 11, 2008


Chapter 7 - Studying and describing vegetation.

New books and papers | Websites

Chapter Outline :

    • Vegetation description is fundamental to studies of succession and zonation and many other areas of biogeography;
    • Vegetation is intimately linked with climate and geology, and increasingly, to human activities such as agriculture and forestry;
    • It provides the groundwork on which applied biogeographical studies and increasingly, environmental assessments depend.
New books and papers
Author(s) Title (and link) Comment
Engelbrecht et al 2007 Drought sensitivity shapes species distribution patterns in tropical forests An attempt to explain gradients finds rainfall a key factor here
Condit et al 2006 The Importance of Demographic
Niches to Tree Diversity
Tropical forest tree diversity does not seem to correspond to standard ideas of demographic variation.
Bennie et al 2006 Influence of slope and aspect on long-term vegetation change in British chalk grasslands. Describes analyses which suggests that steep slopes are more prone to invasive species due to phosphorus limitations. This argues for a more varied response to invasion than often suggested.
Fagan et al 2005 When Can Herbivores Slow or Reverse the Spread of an
Invading Plant? A Test Case from Mount St. Helens. american Naturalist 116(6)
An interesting research project showing how plant-herbivore interactions can influence vegetation patterns. In this case, caterpillars can slow down the invasion of plants into post-eruption Mt St Helens.
 Parmesan et al 2005  Empirical perspectives on species borders: from traditional biogeography to global change  The paper describes and tests various approaches for describing species boundaries and looks at the implications of using these.
Checklist of online vegetation and plant distribution maps A useful list from the UC Berkeley Library. Links to a range of global maps many of which are interactive/GIS-type maps allowing for a great deal of control of detail.

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