Patterns and causes of spatial variation in the reproductive success of a desert annual

Ronen Kadmon*, Avi Shmida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study examines patterns and causes of variation in the reproductive success of the desert annual Stipa capensis. Three nested scales of variation were analyzed: variation between individuals of the same plot, variation between different plots of the same habitat, and variation between different habitats in the same region. Perturbation experiments (irrigation and neighbors removal) were performed to test the effects of heterogeneity in soil water and neighborhood competition on the magnitude of variation in each scale. The results demonstrate that variation of reproductive success was highest within plots, lowest between plots, and moderate between habitats. Soil water heterogeneity contributed to spatial variation in all scales but was most important for differences between habitats. Neighborhood competition increased the variation within plots, but decreased the variation between habitats. The results further demonstrate that water limitation was negatively correlated with the position of the habitat along the run-off/run-on gradient. An opposite trend was obtained for the effect of competition.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1990


  • Competition
  • Demographic variation
  • Desert annuals
  • Spatial heterogeneity
  • Water resource limitation


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