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Zonation of plants in a fresh-water tidal environment
Ingólfsson, A.; Johannsson, B.; Kristinsson, H. (1989). Zonation of plants in a fresh-water tidal environment, in: Ros, J.D. (Ed.) Topics in Marine Biology: Proceedings of the 22nd European Marine Biology Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, August 1987. Scientia Marina (Barcelona), 53(2-3): pp. 343-347
In: Ros, J.D. (Ed.) (1989). Topics in Marine Biology: Proceedings of the 22nd European Marine Biology Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, August 1987. Scientia Marina (Barcelona), 53(2-3). Instituto de Ciencias del Mar: Barcelona. 145-754 pp., more
In: Scientia Marina (Barcelona). Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Institut de Ciènces del Mar: Barcelona. ISSN 0214-8358, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings [16933]
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ingólfsson, A.
  • Johannsson, B.
  • Kristinsson, H.

Abstract
    A fresh-water pond with tidal fluctuations (mean amplitude at spring tides: 1.66 m) in southwestern Iceland was studied. A total of 71 species of plants, chiefly cryptogams, were identified from two transects traversing the intertidal. Zonation of species was obvious. There were a few dominant species, sometimes with sharply coinciding boundaries, and a larger number of less conspicuous species. Species richness of cryptogams increased landwards from a low near the level of mean low water of neaps to reach a maximum slightly below the level of highest annual floods. Only one truly aquatic species was identified from the transects, other species noted being more easily classified as terrestrial. The pattern seen in the pond is compared to that found on a marine tidal shore, where most of the plant species are of aquatic (marine) origin, and species richness shows a low in the upper part of the intertidal. The reason for these differences is probably mainly two-fold. Firstly, the aquatic species of the marine shore have evolved adaptations to a periodically dry environment that freshwater aquatics have not had a chance to do. Secondly, the terrestrial species do not face the osmotic problems on a fresh-water shore that they encounter on a marine shore. Upper and lower limits of species around the pond are most likely set mainly by physical factors, in contrast to what occurs on the seashore, where biotic factors are of critical importance.

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