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Hollingsworth, Teresa N.

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Long-term experiments provide a way to test presumed causes of successional or environmentally driven vegetation changes. Early-successional nitrogen (N)-fixing plants are widely thought to facilitate productivity and vegetation development on N-poor sites, thus accounting for observed vegetation patterns later in succession. We tested this facilitative impact on vegetation development in a 23-yr field experiment on an Interior Alaska ( USA) floodplain. On three replicate early-successional silt bars, we planted late-successional white spruce ( Picea glauca) seedlings in the presence and absence of planted seedlings of an early-successional N-fixing shrub, thinleaf alder ( Alnus incana). Alder initially facilitated...
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