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The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America$
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Frank Gilliam

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199837656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199837656.001.0001

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Agricultural Legacies in Forest Herb Communities

Agricultural Legacies in Forest Herb Communities

(p.438) 19 Agricultural Legacies in Forest Herb Communities
The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America

Kathryn M. Flinn

Oxford University Press

Forests growing on former farmlands may show the effects of their agricultural heritage for hundreds and even thousands of years. Some of the strongest and most lasting legacies of past agriculture are changes in the diversity and composition of herbaceous plant communities. This chapter reviews these changes and examines the mechanisms underlying them, paying particular attention to the evidence supporting the mechanisms of dispersal limitation and recruitment limitation or environmental sorting. It illustrates the patterns and processes of herbaceous plant community responses to agriculture with examples from the literature and case studies from forests in central New York State.

Keywords:   forests, agriculture, herbaceous plant communities, dispersal limitation, recruitment limitation, environmental sorting

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