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Dynamics of a Tasmania cushion heath community
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-25, 22:26 authored by Gibson, N, Kirkpatrick, JB
Little is known of the dynamics of the alpine cushion plant communities of Tasmania. The present study investigates the nature of the short (5 yr) and long (850 yr plus) term dynamics within one such community at Newdegate Pass, Tasmania. This involved observations of permanent plots, quadrat sampling of cushion heath in different stages of a secondary succession and cuticular analysis of a core through the cushion peat. Data from the peat core showed the continued presence of the cushion heath community at this site for at least 850 yr, while the regeneration patterns indicated community composition was largely achieved by species accumulation rather than species replacement. Over a 5-yr period there was little or no change in total percentage cover yet a surprisingly high degree of interspecific competition for space in areas of complete plant cover. These observations best fit non equilibrium models of community succession and stability.
Publication titleJournal of Vegetation Science