Implications from the Buell-Small Succession Study for vegetation restoration

S. T A Pickett, M. L. Cadenasso, S. Bartha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Succession is relevant to restoration because managers have to prevent, enhance or replace natural vegetation dynamics. Features of a permanent plot study of post-agricultural succession in central New Jersey, USA, illustrate important implications of vegetation dynamics for restoration. In the past, such implications had to be drawn from chronosequences and coarse resolution studies, neither of which exposes the local contingencies relevant to site specific restoration. However, the fine scale and continuous nature of the current study reveal that succession is highly contingent on historical and local spatial heterogeneity. For example, the absence of one generally expected dominant stage, the demise of shrubs without replacement by later successional tree species, and the long and multimodal persistence of individual species suggest that neither the relay floristic or initial floristic models of succession is adequate to guide restoration. At the local scale, volleys of species appear through the succession, and reflect spatial contingencies such as neighboring vegetation and edge relationships, and patchy behavior of different functional groups. The role of introduced species and of plant consumers are additional sources of local contingency. These local and time-specific behaviors in the vegetation are the patterns that restorationists must understand either to choose appropriate reference states, to prevent unexpected local dynamics, or to design interventions that are appropriate to the specific site of interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Vegetation Science
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Fingerprint

ecological restoration
vegetation
vegetation dynamics
floristics
chronosequences
chronosequence
managers
introduced species
shrubs
functional group
shrub
persistence
replacement
restoration

Keywords

  • Community dynamics
  • Contingency
  • Functional group
  • Heterogeneity
  • Hutcheson Memorial Forest
  • Long-term study
  • New Jersey
  • Old field
  • Permanent plot
  • Vegetation dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology

Cite this

Implications from the Buell-Small Succession Study for vegetation restoration. / Pickett, S. T A; Cadenasso, M. L.; Bartha, S.

In: Applied Vegetation Science, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2001, p. 41-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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