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The influence of carbon-nutrient balance on herb and woody plant abundance in temperate forest understories



The influence of carbon-nutrient balance on herb and woody plant abundance in temperate forest understories



Journal of Vegetation Science 17(2): 217-226



Question: We present a general structural carbon-nutrient balance hypothesis parallel to Bryant et al.'s defensive chemistry hypothesis. Our hypothesis suggests that because herb species require a lower investment of carbon per unit length of stem than do woody plants, herbs should be at a competitive advantage where the leaf area of plants in the ground layer is limited by light (or fixed carbon, C) rather than soil resources (R) such as nutrients or water.

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Accession: 012827074

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2006.tb02440.x


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