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Primary succession of bryophyte and lichen communities in non-forested Atlantic coastal dunes: the example of the Pointe d'Arçay (France)

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The distribution of bryophytes and lichens growing on non-forested coastal dunes along theAtlantic seaboard of France was studied from vegetation surveys that were analysed by multivariate analyses. The dune system of the Pointe d'Arçay is unusual in its geomorphology and illustrates a chronosequence. It is a good example of succession in bryophyte and lichen communities on a sandy alkaline soil whose calcium content is gradually being leached out. Seven groups of bryophytes and lichens corresponding to four stages of a primary succession and one stage of a secondary succession are described. Two bryophyte and lichen habitats were distinguished: the «juvenile» fixed grey dune and the «mature» fixed grey dune. The highest diversity of bryophyte and lichen species was found in the semi-fixed to fixed parts of the dunes (about 50 years of stabilisation). The dominant mechanisms observed in this primary succession appeared to be mainly related to abiotic environmental conditions, which vary with time, and to certain biological traits of the species.

La répartition des mousses et des lichens se développant sur les dunes littorales non boisées de la façade atlantique de la France est étudiée à partir de relevés traités par analyses multivariées. Le système dunaire de la pointe d'Arçay,original par sa géomorphologie, illustre une chronoséquence. Elle présente un bon exemple de succession de communautés de mousses et de lichens sur un substrat sableux alcalin se décalcifiant. Sept groupes de mousses et de lichens correspondant à quatre stades d'une succession primaire et un stade d'une succession secondaire ont été décrits. Deux habitats bryolichéniques se distinguent: la Dune grise " juvénile " et la Dune grise " mature ". La diversité maximale en espèces de mousses et lichens est observée dans les parties de dunes semifixées à fixées (environ 50 ans de stabilisation). Les mécanismes dominants observés dans cette succession primaire apparaissent principalement reliés aux conditions abiotiques du milieu qui varient en fonction du temps et à certains traits biologiques des espèces.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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  • Nova Hedwigia is an international journal publishing original, peer-reviewed papers on current issues of taxonomy, morphology, ultrastructure and ecology of all groups of cryptogamic plants, including cyanophytes/cyanobacteria and fungi. The half-tone plates in Nova Hedwigia are known for their high quality, which makes them especially suitable for the reproduction of photomicrographs and scanning and transmission electron micrographs.
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