Barrier islands’ harsh conditions, including nutrient and freshwater limitations and extremes of light and temperature, along with frequent large-scale disturbances, such as hurricanes, limit the number of plants species able to survive. As a result, successional trajectories can be convoluted. For instance, do lianas, climbing plants that simultaneously compete with existing flora while also opening up the canopy to other species, accelerate or delay the shift from woody communities to the historical climax community, maritime forest? New research suggests that both lianas’ and shrubs’ expansion is self-reinforcing and together, could increasingly delay or prevent forest succession in temperate coastal sires.
Synthesis: What, Why, and How
Synthesis group: metacommunity dynamics and community responses to disturbance
Integrating plant community and ecosystem responses to chronic global change drivers: Toward an explanation of patterns and improved global predictions
2019 Synthesis RFP webinar is available for viewing
LTER Network News | 2019 August