SREL Reprint #2337

 

 

 

Prolonged diapause and models of species coexistence: a cautionary tale from annual plants in deserts

Thomas E. Philippi

 

Abstract: At a general level, seed dormancy in desert annual plants parallels diapause in crustaceans in temporally varying environments. Much general theory developed for desert annuals has been applied to crustacean diapause. I provide an example in desert annuals where the biological details of seed dormancy may matter. Desert annuals appear to meet the requirements for the storage effect to promote species coexistence. Prolonged seed dormancy provides the storage, and species abundances fluctuated individualistically at one study site from 1982 through 1989. However, the details of the seed dormancy suggest that the strength of the storage effect will vary over time, and will be weaker in the years following a prolonged drought. While the details of seed dormancy do not apply to crustacean diapause, the need to consider the biology in scaling up from a few years of investigation to the timescale of centuries may apply equally to both.

SREL Reprint #2337

Philippi, T.E. 1998. Prolonged diapause and models of species coexistence: a cautionary tale from annual plants in deserts. Arch. Hydrobiol. Spec. Issues Advanc. Limnol. 52:19-31.

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