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Title: Interpretation of cyclical processes in a Scottish heath community
Author: Barclay-Estrup, Paul
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1966
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The cyclical processes of the heath, community studied are controlled by the structure of Calluna vulgaris L. The structure and size of the Calluna plant profoundly alters the microenvironment of vegetation patch. The changes in the vegetation patch can be categorized in relation to the age and physiognomy of the Calluna plant. There are four phases in the cycle: pioneer, building, mature and degenerate. The pioneer phase has extremes in microclimatic conditions such as high and low temperatures, high light values, high saturation deficits and maximum air move-ment. This microclimate produces high plant species diversification, a large and diverse arthropod population and a relatively low biomass. The building phase is completely dominated by the Calluna plant, reducing microclimatic extremes to their lowest values. This results in reduced populations of other plant species and of arthropods hut with the biomass much greater than in the pioneer phase. The mature phase is characterized by a waning vitality of the Calluna plant. More diverse micro- climatic conditions are evident, resulting in increasing numbers of other plants and arthropods. Biomass is at its maximum in this phase. The last phase in the cycle is the degenerate phase, in which the rapidly aging Calluna plant is being suppressed by other plant species. The vegetation patch again experiences microclimatic extremes, the numbers of species of both plants and arthropods increases, and biomass decreases. With the establishment of Calluna seedlings at the end of the degenerate phase the cycle has returned upon itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available