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Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment

Journal Article:

Abstract

The published results of the Park Grass Experiment (PGE), begun in 1856, provide up to 30 yr of annual data which may be used to determine whether the botanical composition of these grasslands was at equilibrium. Data covering a period exceeding 80 yr are available to test for relationships between hay yield (biomass), species diversity, species number and time. Species diversity and species number show negative relationships with plot biomass and with pH. These relationships were constant over time. The effects of biomass and pH on species number and species diversity were additive. Analysis of the flora of nine plots, each divided into grasses, legumes and a miscellaneous component showed that these components were at equilibrium. The effect of various endogenous factors on this botanical equilibrium was examined. No regular or irregular cycles of component biomass operating between years were detected and it is inferred that populations were regulated by processes operating within individual years. The biomasses of all three components were positively correlated within an unfertilized plot but the floristic components of plots receiving a fertilizer treatment showed few within-plot correlations. By contrast between-plot correlations of components were common for all plots with the exception of those receiving nitrogen  More>>
Authors:
Publication Date:
Jan 01, 1980
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
EDB-84-011228
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: J. Appl. Ecol.; (United Kingdom); Journal Volume: 17
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS; BASELINE ECOLOGY; DYNAMICS; ACIDIFICATION; CORRELATIONS; GRASS; PH VALUE; PLANTS; PRODUCTIVITY; SOILS; SPECIES DIVERSITY; ECOLOGY; ECOSYSTEMS; MECHANICS; 510100* - Environment, Terrestrial- Basic Studies- (-1989)
OSTI ID:
5528688
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: CODEN: JAPEA
Submitting Site:
HEDB
Size:
Pages: 491-504
Announcement Date:

Journal Article:

Citation Formats

Silvertown, J. Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment. United Kingdom: N. p., 1980. Web.
Silvertown, J. Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment. United Kingdom.
Silvertown, J. 1980. "Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment." United Kingdom.
@misc{etde_5528688,
title = {Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment}
author = {Silvertown, J}
abstractNote = {The published results of the Park Grass Experiment (PGE), begun in 1856, provide up to 30 yr of annual data which may be used to determine whether the botanical composition of these grasslands was at equilibrium. Data covering a period exceeding 80 yr are available to test for relationships between hay yield (biomass), species diversity, species number and time. Species diversity and species number show negative relationships with plot biomass and with pH. These relationships were constant over time. The effects of biomass and pH on species number and species diversity were additive. Analysis of the flora of nine plots, each divided into grasses, legumes and a miscellaneous component showed that these components were at equilibrium. The effect of various endogenous factors on this botanical equilibrium was examined. No regular or irregular cycles of component biomass operating between years were detected and it is inferred that populations were regulated by processes operating within individual years. The biomasses of all three components were positively correlated within an unfertilized plot but the floristic components of plots receiving a fertilizer treatment showed few within-plot correlations. By contrast between-plot correlations of components were common for all plots with the exception of those receiving nitrogen fertilizer. The mechanisms of population regulation which maintained the park grass ecosystem at equilibrium are discussed and tests for these are proposed.}
journal = {J. Appl. Ecol.; (United Kingdom)}
volume = {17}
journal type = {AC}
place = {United Kingdom}
year = {1980}
month = {Jan}
}