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Elevational and age gradients in hawaiian montane rainforest: foliar and soil nutrients

Summary

Soils and plants were sampled along an elevational gradient from 265–1675 m on a 133-and a 3100-year-old lava flow on Mauna Loa, Hawai'i. Soil organic matter and nutrients accumulated more rapidly at low elevation on the young flow, but reached higher levels at higher elevation on the old flow. Foliar nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were less and specific leaf weight greater for Metrosideros polymorpha leaves collected at high versus low elevations and on the young versus the old flow. Foliar δ13C was strongly correlated with specific leaf weight across the range of sites sampled.

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Published as a contribution to the Tropical Mountain Ecosystem Program of the IUBS Decade of the Tropics

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Vitousek, P.M., Matson, P.A. & Turner, D.R. Elevational and age gradients in hawaiian montane rainforest: foliar and soil nutrients. Oecologia 77, 565–570 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00377275

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00377275

Key words

  • Primary succession
  • Soil development
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Metrosideros polymorpha