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Community dynamics in an experimental Southwestern Ohio prairie

by Hesch, Lindsey Elizabeth.

Abstract (Summary)
COMMUNITY DYNAMICS IN AN EXPERIMENTAL SOUTHWESTERN OHIO PRAIRIE by Lindsey E. Hesch The factors determining community composition are of great interest and consequence. The degree to which communities are governed by deterministic or chance processes has become more ambiguous than what was previously thought. Composition may also be unpredictable if chance plays a large role or communities can remain stable with various compositions. I partition variation in plant community composition from the seed mix to second growning season percent cover to variables in order to examine three community dynamics paradigms: niche (deterministic predictability), neutral (non-deterministic unpredictability), and multiple attractor (deterministic unpredictability) theories. I also examine relationships between the plant and insect communities as according to niche theory communities are structured by abiotic and biotic components of the environment. I found communities to be mostly governed by deterministic processes but chance still plays an important role. Communities may be unpredictable. The plant and insect communities are linked in abundance and composition.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:plant communities prairies ohio

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