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Oak woodland vegetation dynamics: a state and transition approachAuthor(s): Melvin R. George; Maximo F. Alonso
Source: In: Merenlender, Adina; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., tech. eds. 2008. Proceedings of the sixth California oak symposium: today's challenges, tomorrow's opportunities. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-217. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: pp. 93-104
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
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DescriptionCalifornia’s oak-woodlands are a complex, often multi-layered mosaic of grassland, shrubland, and woodland patches. While soil type and depth, topography, aspect, and geological substrate influence the distribution of these patches, disturbance and biological interactions are also important determinants of the patchy distribution of these plant communities. Fire intensity and frequency can change the structure of these patches, while grazing can affect the speed of the species replacement. Different re-establishment strategies of woody species interacting with prevailing weather following disturbance can also produce changes in the plant community composition at the patch level which are often smaller than a soil mapping unit or an ecological site. While our knowledge of vegetation dynamics in the oak-woodlands is not great, what we do know, or can reasonably hypothesize, is being organized into a format that is sensible and accessible to natural resource managers. State and transition models have been proposed as a format for organizing the complex body of knowledge and concepts describing vegetation dynamics in rangeland ecosystems. Natural and man-caused vegetation change can be incorporated into these models. In this review paper, we will describe oak-woodland vegetation dynamics using a state and transition format.
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CitationGeorge, Melvin R.; Alonso, Maximo F. 2008. Oak woodland vegetation dynamics: a state and transition approach. In: Merenlender, Adina; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., tech. eds. 2008. Proceedings of the sixth California oak symposium: today's challenges, tomorrow's opportunities. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-217. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: pp. 93-104
KeywordsOak-woodlands, state and transition models, succession, vegetation dynamics.
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