Why do we need permanent plots in the study of long-term vegetation dynamics?


*Corresponding author; Fax +31 50 3632273; E-mail j.p.bakker@biol.rug.nl


Abstract. This paper presents a survey of vegetation studies on permanent plots, with an emphasis on the long-term character of these studies. It makes remarks on the external and internal causes of succession, pays attention to the pathways of succession, links up permanent plots studies and chronosequences, discusses internal causes and mechanisms of succession, and finally mentions the significance of long-term vegetation dynamics for nature conservation.