Space-time heterogeneity in the recovery after experimental burning and cutting in a Cistus laurifolius shrubland
- Cite this article as:
- Tárrega, R., Luis-Calabuig, E. & Alonso, I. Plant Ecology (1997) 129: 179. doi:10.1023/A:1009728317705
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Recovery after experimental burning and cutting in a shrubland of Cistus laurifolius in NW Spain has been studied. The community was homogeneous prior to the disturbances, and tended to recover through a process of autosuccession. It was tested whether in a small space (two 100 m2 plots) there was a greater similarity among individual subplots (12) in five consecutive years, or among the five subplots considered in each plot in the same year. By comparing space and time beta diversity using analysis of variance, no significant differences were observed, which indicates that temporal changes are not of a greater magnitude than space heterogeneity, even on such a small scale. Changes in time are characterized by an increase in cover by woody species, mainly Cistus laurifolius, or a decrease in the diversity and richness of species. Space heterogeneity (differences between subplots) does not seem to be determined by environmental gradients, since the sampling surface is very small, and may be due to the effect of some annual or perennial species, which are not dominant and only appear in some subplots, probably due to random dispersal.