Spatial Heterogeneity Effects on Meta-Community Stability of Annual Plants from a Coastal Dune Ecosystem

Pua Bar, Ofir Katz, Michael Dorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Spatial heterogeneity affects plant community composition and diversity. It is particularly noticeable in annual plant communities, which vary in space and time over short distances and periods, forming meta-communities at the regional scale. This study was conducted at the coastal dune ecosystem in Nizzanim nature reserve, Israel. This study aimed to analyze the effect of the spatial heterogeneity, which is expressed in differences in the fixation levels of the dunes and patches outside and beneath the dominant Artemisia monosperma shrubs, on the characteristics of the annual plant meta-community and its temporal stability, considering the mechanisms that may affect it. Thirteen dunes were studied: three mobile, seven semi-fixed, and three fixed dunes. Data on the annual plants were collected during the spring seasons of 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2016. For each dune, 72 quadrats of (Formula presented.) cm were sampled yearly, with 24 quadrats per slope aspect (windward, leeward, and crest), 12 under the shrub, and 12 in the open. The results indicate that the transition from mobile dunes through semi-fixed to fixed dunes is characterized by an increase in annual plant cover, species richness, species diversity, changes in plant communities, and stability driven by the asynchrony of species population fluctuations. Asynchrony affected the stability of the meta-community of this ecosystem in patches beneath the shrubs but not in the open patches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2151
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • asynchrony
  • fixed dunes
  • Israel
  • mobile dunes
  • open and shrub patches
  • semi-fixed dunes
  • spatial scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial Heterogeneity Effects on Meta-Community Stability of Annual Plants from a Coastal Dune Ecosystem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this