Essay The Responses Of Two Native Species And The Invasive

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The responses of two native species and the invasive T. sebifera to key components of simulated hurricane disturbances (canopy damage and storm surge) suggest that both factors are important determinants of plant species performance, and that simulated hurricane disturbances produced differential effects in different forest conditions. In both simulated forest conditions, we found a substantial increase in growth and survival of seedlings of all species under simulated increased canopy openness, while simulated storm surge generally had a negative effect on seedlings survival. In particular, we found a marked difference in seedling survival and growth following simulated storm surges in simulated MHF conditions. In MHF conditions, the combination of storm surge and low canopy openness resulted in mortality of all species, suggesting that storm surges with little canopy damage can produce substantial negative impacts on seedling regeneration of woody species in hurricane impacted coastal areas. Thus, it is likely that the improved light availability following canopy openings due to hurricane winds increased performance of young seedlings (e.g., survival and growth) of both native and invasive species (Bellingham et al. 2005, Chapman et al. 2008, Murphy et al. 2008, Shiels et al. 2010). However, performance of these species under natural field conditions likely be determined by interactive effects of other key components of hurricanes, such as storm surge (Middleton 2009,…

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