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Persistence of coastal vegetation in supratidal zones of northern China.

Yang H, Chu J - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Eight separate sandy coasts of the Shandong Peninsula were sampled, representing for disturbed and undisturbed sandy coasts.Plants growing on their supratidal zones were surveyed.On this basis, we compared the relative dominances, niche widths, and commonness of all species, and also analyzed species diversities of the coasts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Resources and Environment, Qingdao Agricultural University, Chengyang, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.

ABSTRACT
Coastal vegetation comprises a number of coastal specialists and terrestrial generalists. It remains unclear how they persist on disturbed and undisturbed coastal conditions. We tested the hypothesis that coastal specialists may be superior to terrestrial generalists on supratidal zones of coasts, but their superiority can be influenced by human disturbances. Eight separate sandy coasts of the Shandong Peninsula were sampled, representing for disturbed and undisturbed sandy coasts. Plants growing on their supratidal zones were surveyed. On this basis, we compared the relative dominances, niche widths, and commonness of all species, and also analyzed species diversities of the coasts. Coastal specialists were found to be more common and widespread on supratidal zones of the sandy coasts than terrestrial generalists haphazardly invading from hinterlands. Coastal specialists exhibited lower Sørensen dissimilarities than terrestrial generalists among the coasts. Tourist trampling seemed more detrimental than pond fishery to coastal vegetation. Relative to terrestrial generalists, coastal specialists responded to human disturbances more deterministically, with steady decreases in species diversities. These evidences verify that coastal specialists are intrinsically superior to terrestrial generalists on supratidal zones of coasts, especially of undisturbed coasts, because their dispersal among coasts adapts well to local storm surge regime. They also validate that human disturbances can depress the superiority of coastal specialists, partly by inducing invasion of terrestrial generalists.

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Dispersing processes of plants growing on sandy coasts.
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pone-0079964-g003: Dispersing processes of plants growing on sandy coasts.

Mentions: The key to these phenomena may well be that the coastal specialists could disperse seeds easily among sandy coasts even if they are distantly isolated. Otherwise, they could not be so common and widespread on the coasts. Unlike the terrestrial generalists, they do not thrive in hinterlands of the peninsula. The broad hinterlands therefore cannot provide a passage or spot for them to continue seed dispersal. The specialists have to disperse seeds directly among similar sandy coasts, rather than depend on assistances from the hinterlands. Such dispersal is feasible in view of the available conditions of circulating seawater and their buoyant seeds, but needs facilitation of storm surges [15,16,34]. We try elucidating how their seeds are dispersed among such coasts (Figure 3). When storm surges arise, they inundate coastal specialists on supratidal zones, where they may thrive [1,20,22]. During the inundation, approximately 90% of their seeds are dispersed locally with shore currents, and approximately 10% are carried away by offshore currents into open seas [16]. Upon entering the seas, the buoyant seeds remain afloat and drift with seawater [15,16]. When storm surges arrive at other coasts, some of the seeds may land on supratidal zones. After the storm surges recede several hours later, the coasts calm and some seeds landing at favorable sites wait for potential germination and thriving. Some seeds may land on intertidal flats, but they cannot establish a local population because of frequent inundation of tides, twice a day [35].


Persistence of coastal vegetation in supratidal zones of northern China.

Yang H, Chu J - PLoS ONE (2013)

Dispersing processes of plants growing on sandy coasts.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3818275&req=5

pone-0079964-g003: Dispersing processes of plants growing on sandy coasts.
Mentions: The key to these phenomena may well be that the coastal specialists could disperse seeds easily among sandy coasts even if they are distantly isolated. Otherwise, they could not be so common and widespread on the coasts. Unlike the terrestrial generalists, they do not thrive in hinterlands of the peninsula. The broad hinterlands therefore cannot provide a passage or spot for them to continue seed dispersal. The specialists have to disperse seeds directly among similar sandy coasts, rather than depend on assistances from the hinterlands. Such dispersal is feasible in view of the available conditions of circulating seawater and their buoyant seeds, but needs facilitation of storm surges [15,16,34]. We try elucidating how their seeds are dispersed among such coasts (Figure 3). When storm surges arise, they inundate coastal specialists on supratidal zones, where they may thrive [1,20,22]. During the inundation, approximately 90% of their seeds are dispersed locally with shore currents, and approximately 10% are carried away by offshore currents into open seas [16]. Upon entering the seas, the buoyant seeds remain afloat and drift with seawater [15,16]. When storm surges arrive at other coasts, some of the seeds may land on supratidal zones. After the storm surges recede several hours later, the coasts calm and some seeds landing at favorable sites wait for potential germination and thriving. Some seeds may land on intertidal flats, but they cannot establish a local population because of frequent inundation of tides, twice a day [35].

Bottom Line: Eight separate sandy coasts of the Shandong Peninsula were sampled, representing for disturbed and undisturbed sandy coasts.Plants growing on their supratidal zones were surveyed.On this basis, we compared the relative dominances, niche widths, and commonness of all species, and also analyzed species diversities of the coasts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Resources and Environment, Qingdao Agricultural University, Chengyang, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.

ABSTRACT
Coastal vegetation comprises a number of coastal specialists and terrestrial generalists. It remains unclear how they persist on disturbed and undisturbed coastal conditions. We tested the hypothesis that coastal specialists may be superior to terrestrial generalists on supratidal zones of coasts, but their superiority can be influenced by human disturbances. Eight separate sandy coasts of the Shandong Peninsula were sampled, representing for disturbed and undisturbed sandy coasts. Plants growing on their supratidal zones were surveyed. On this basis, we compared the relative dominances, niche widths, and commonness of all species, and also analyzed species diversities of the coasts. Coastal specialists were found to be more common and widespread on supratidal zones of the sandy coasts than terrestrial generalists haphazardly invading from hinterlands. Coastal specialists exhibited lower Sørensen dissimilarities than terrestrial generalists among the coasts. Tourist trampling seemed more detrimental than pond fishery to coastal vegetation. Relative to terrestrial generalists, coastal specialists responded to human disturbances more deterministically, with steady decreases in species diversities. These evidences verify that coastal specialists are intrinsically superior to terrestrial generalists on supratidal zones of coasts, especially of undisturbed coasts, because their dispersal among coasts adapts well to local storm surge regime. They also validate that human disturbances can depress the superiority of coastal specialists, partly by inducing invasion of terrestrial generalists.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus