Mineral Nutrient Relations in Mediterranean Regions of California, Chile, and Australia

  • Byron B. Lamont
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 108)

Abstract

Given similar climates, levels of soil nutrients may be expected to control the structure of vegetation. Lack of convergence in the structure and function of mediterranean ecosystems in various continents has been attributed to differences in their soil fertility status in previous studies (Miller et al. 1977, Naveh and Whittaker 1979, Cowling and Campbell 1980, Milewski 1982, Lamont et al. 1985). The general impression is that the order of nutrient availability runs Chile = Mediterranean Basin > California > South Africa > Australia. The scientific “folklore” also states that North American ecosystems are N-limited and Australian ecosystems are P-limited (e.g., Specht 1963, Gray and Schlesinger 1983). My purpose in this chapter is to test these hypotheses in the context of the mediterranean regions of California, Chile, and Australia by examining recently collected nutrient data on soils and plants. This analysis is supplemented by ecomorphological attributes of plants considered to reflect the nutrient status of the soil.

Keywords

Biomass Clay Cellulose Quartz Phosphorus 

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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1995

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  • Byron B. Lamont

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