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Terrestrial habitats on sub-Antarctic Marion Islan: their vegetation, edaphic attibutes, distribution and resonse to climate change

Smith, V. and Steenkamp, M. and Gremmen, N.J.M. (2001) Terrestrial habitats on sub-Antarctic Marion Islan: their vegetation, edaphic attibutes, distribution and resonse to climate change. South African Journal of Botany, 67, 641-654. ISSN 0254-6299.

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Official URL: http://www.ajol.info/index.php/sajb/article/view/20482

Abstract

The vegetation, soil chemistry characteristics and altitudinal distributions of 23 habitats in 7 habitat complexes on sub-Antarctic Marion Island (47°S, 38°E) are described. The habitat complexes (number of habitats in complex) are: Coastal Salt-spray Complex (2); Fellfield Complex (2); Slope Complex (6); Biotic Grassland Complex (3); Biotic Herbfield Complex (3); Mire Complex (6); Polar Desert Complex (1). The habitat classification closely reflects the between-habitat variation in the relative magnitudes of the main forcing variables that determine ecological succession on the island (moisture, exposure, parent soil material, salt-spray and manuring and trampling by seals and seabirds). Hence, it can serve as a framework against which to detect and evaluate ecological responses to the marked climatic change currently occurring in the sub-Antarctic. Suggestions are made on how the habitats might respond to climatic change (warming,drying) and other perturbations (increasing or decreasing influences of salt-spray and manuring).

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11066
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:31 Mar 2014 10:05

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