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Citation. McGinley, M. A.; Tilman, D. 1993. Short-term response of old-field plant communities to fire and disturbance. American Midland Naturalist 129:409-413. [1097 E133 LTER]
Abstract. We examined the mechanisms that cause short-term changes in old-field plant communities in the 1st yr following two different disturbances: tilling and burning. In particular, we wanted to determine whether short-term changes in plant community structure following disturbance were more strongly influenced by interspecific differences in growth rates or interspecific differences in germination and establishment ability. Because the density of annual plants varied more across treatments than plant size, we concluded that differences in germination and establishment were important causes of community change in the 1st yr following disturbance. Thus, a more detailed mechanistic understanding of the factors influencing germination and establishment will be necessary to understand community patterns in this old-field system.