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Keywords:

  • Artemisia barrelieri;
  • Competition;
  • Mediterranean shrubland;
  • Old-field succession;
  • Second-order spatial analysis;
  • Semi-arid
  • Sagredo (1987)

Abstract. Univariate and bivariate distribution patterns of small shrubs on abandoned land in semi-arid southeastern Spain were investigated by second-order spatial analysis (Ripley's K-function). All shrubs (Anthyllis cytisoides and subdominant Artemisia barrelieri) were either randomly distributed or clumped at scales of 0.25 - 1.0 m. The pattern shown by A. cytisoides shrubs alone changed from clumped to random with decreasing density. Pattern analysis and demographic data suggest a successive replacement of A. barrelieri, which had high proportions (44 - 86 %) of dead shrubs, by the dominant A. cytisoides. In two of three plots there was a positive association between A. cytisoides and A. barrelieri at a scale of 0.25 - 0.5 m. In the third plot, believed to represent a more advanced stage of colonization, there was a negative association (repulsion) between the two species, presumably as a result of interspecific competition from A. cytisoides. Dead shrubs present in spring 1994 were randomly distributed in all plots. Living and dead A. cytisoides shrubs were positively associated at a scale of 0.5 m, suggesting that the shrubs died as a result of intraspecific competition in small clumps. The shrubland previously dominated by A. barrelieri is changing to A. cytisoides shrubland with increasing biomass and ground cover.