Community Ecology

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 65–72 | Cite as

Analysis of a recovery process: Dwingelose Heide revisited

  • M. AnandEmail author
  • G. W. Heil


The recovery process of a Dutch heathland after fire is investigated. The study area, 12 m × 20 m, has been surveyed yearly between 1963 and 1993. Previous work has shown that a stationary Markov chain models the observed recovery process well. However, the Markov model fails to capture an important observation, the existence of a phase structure. The process begins deterministically, but small random (non-Markov) effects accumulate through time and at some point the process suddenly becomes noisy. Here we make use of the spatial information contained in vegetation maps to examine dynamics at a fine spatial scale. We find that the phases observed at a large spatial scale separate themselves out distinctly at finer spatial scales. This spatial information allows us to investigate hypotheses about the mechanisms governing deterministic versus noisy vegetation dynamics.


Community Complexity Pattern PCA Permanent plot Scale Space Spatial competition hypothesis Transition Vegetation 



principal component analysis.


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2000

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands

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