Environmental Sieve Model of Wetland Succession
In the first environmental sieve model, water level (standing water, no standing water) determined which species could become established and which would be extirpated at a given time in a wetland. Species attributes were used to predict what would happen to each species in a wetland as water levels changed. The three attributes used were: (1) life expectancy (annual, short-lived perennial, and perennial with vegetative growth), (2) seed dispersal (seeds present in seed bank, seeds had to be dispersed to wetland), and (3) seed germination requirements (seeds can germinate underwater or seeds can germinate only on wet soil). The model was tested successfully in a long-term, water manipulation study carried out in the Delta Marsh in Canada, the Marsh Ecology Research Project (MERP). More sophisticate versions of this type of model have been developed that can make quantitative predictions about changes in the composition of wetland vegetation over time.
KeywordsAssembly rule model Succession Vegetation composition Vital attributes Water-level fluctuations
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