Comparative study of grasslands along aridity gradients

TitleComparative study of grasslands along aridity gradients
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsKovacs-Lang E., Bartha S., Kertsz M., Kroel-Dulay G., Hahn I., Redei T., Molnar E., Odor P., Hochstrasser T., Peters DC
Conference NameProceedings of the VII INTECOL: New tasks for ecologists after Rio
Date PublishedJuly 19-25, 1998
Conference LocationFlorence, Italy
ARIS Log Number111132

The goal of this US-Hungarian collaborative work is to evaluate the importance of environmental constraints to the structure of arid and semiarid grasslands. For analyzing biodiversity, we use techniques based upon information statistics developed by Hungarian ecologists, while simulation models developed by U.S. ecologists are used to evaluate short- and long-term responses of vegetation to current and expected climatic conditions. Changes of diversity and spatial patterns of vegetation were studied along aridity gradients in both countries across a range of scales from 0.05m to 50m. In both cases, the diversity of species combinations and the strength of spatial associations decreased and the characteristic scale of maximum diversity of species combinations increased with increasing aridity. The spatial variation of estimated characteristics was higher at the arid end of the gradients.