Flora Europaea, Vol. 1: Psilotaceae to Platanaceae by Tutin, Burges

By Tutin, Burges

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Variations in overstory diversity, whether compositional (species) or structural (height or diameter), influence available growing space and present opportunities for ground flora. We examined characteristics such as overstory species (compositional) diversity and diameter and height (structural) diversity. Finally, we examined the impact of human influences, such as forest fragmentation and roads. 3 METHODOLOGY Meaningful NNIP inventory requires a large network of sample plots measured consistently over time.

Disturbance can upset the competitive balance and site occupancy of prior plant communities, making abiotic factors more important as determinants of invasion success than biotic factors (Richardson and Bond 1991; Hood and Naiman 2000). The larger the difference between gross resource supply and resource uptake, the more vulnerable a plant community becomes to invasive species. Even intermittent or short fluctuations in resource availability have long-term impacts on the outcome of an invasion, particularly if these fluctuations coincide with the availability and arrival of suitable propagules (Richardson and Pyšek 2006).

Although a particular NNIP may have a competitive advantage over native species, timing of emergence and seed dispersal, site quality, and other factors determine whether an NNIP will take hold in an ecosystem. Once established, NNIP threatens the sustainability of native forest composition, structure, function, and resource productivity (Webster et al. 2006). NNIPs occur in all the major life forms found in forest ecosystems: trees, shrubs, vines, forbs=grasses, and other herbs. Although there is scant knowledge of other life forms, such as lichens and mosses, they are likely to be impacted as well.

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