Interactions between a cushion plant (Azorella selago) and surface sediment transport on sub-Antarctic Marion Island

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dc.contributor.author Haussmann, N.S. (Natalie)
dc.contributor.author McGeoch, Melodie Alyce
dc.contributor.author Boelhouwers, J.C.
dc.date.accessioned 2009-05-07T05:34:02Z
dc.date.available 2009-05-07T05:34:02Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.description.abstract On sub-Antarctic Marion Island cushions of the dominant vascular plant species, Azorella selago, interact with the geomorphology of fellfield landscapes by affecting sediment distribution and ultimately terrace formation. Here, to understand the consequences of Azorella cushions for substrate movement and sorting, we quantified the size and shape of Azorella cushions and the grain size distribution of sediment surrounding these cushions, using a combination of image analysis approaches. Results show that as cushions become larger, they tend to become more elongated and grow more perpendicular to the slope. Mean and variance of grain size were greater upslope of Azorella cushions, while the number of particles was higher downslope of cushions, although these differences were not significant at all sites studied. Differences between upslope and downslope particle sizes were, however, not related to cushion elongation or growth angle as had been expected. The observed sediment partitioning is likely caused by a combination of frost-related sediment transport and Azorella cushions acting as sediment obstructions. Understanding these interactions between Azorella cushions and the landscape is especially important in the light of recent warming and drying on the island, as particle size affects soil properties such as water-holding capacity and frost susceptibility. en
dc.identifier.citation Haussmann, NS, McGeoch, MA & Boelhouwers, JC 2008, 'Interactions between a cushion plant (Azorella selago) and surface sediment transport on sub-Antarctic Marion Island', Geomorphology (2008), doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.12.002 en
dc.identifier.issn 0169-555X
dc.identifier.other 10.1016/j.geomarph.2008.12.002
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/9922
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Elsevier en
dc.rights Elsevier en
dc.subject Particle sorting en
dc.subject Azorella selago en
dc.subject Terrace formation en
dc.subject Cushion plant en
dc.subject Marion Island en
dc.subject Vascular plants en
dc.subject Fellfield landscapes en
dc.subject.lcsh Sediment transport -- Antarctica en
dc.subject.lcsh Plant growing media en
dc.title Interactions between a cushion plant (Azorella selago) and surface sediment transport on sub-Antarctic Marion Island en
dc.type Postprint Article en


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