Vegetation of the Earth and Ecological Systems of the by Heinrich Walter

By Heinrich Walter

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It is therefore very important to know the provenance (origin) of the seed employed in reforestation programs. Most taxonomically uniform species are made up of many such ecotypes, or they may exhibit a quantitative gradation in ecophysiological properties, in which case they are termed ecoclines. 2. Change in biotope. The second possible reason underlying a widespread distribution is the property exhibited by a species or a phytocenosis of changing its biotope if it extends into a different climatic region.

Apart from such exceptions, plant species are capable of existing far beyond their natural distributional areas if they are protected from competition by other species. The northeastern limit of distribution ofthe European beech (Fagus sylvatica), for example, runs through the Vistula region of Poland, although beech is found growing far to the north and southeast of this limit in the botanical gardens in Helsinki and Kiev. The natural limit of distribution of a particular species is reached when, as a result of changing physical environmental factors, its ability to compete, or its competitive power, is so much reduced that it can be ousted by other species.

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