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By Mauseth J.D. et al.

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FLORA AND VEGETATION The Barkley Sound region has mostly highly leached, podzolic soils that are considered relatively infertile, but this by no means limits their ability to support impressive and luxuriant vegetation—the tall, dense Coastal Coniferous Forest for which the Pacific Northwest is justly celebrated. With minor variations, this forest type extends from northern California to south- eastern Alaska. It reaches its most impressive development in the central part of this zone, northwest Washington and British Columbia, where coastal rainfall is higher than it is further north and further south.

About 15% of their island aliens occur also in Barkley Sound, where a few species are considered native (Atriplex patula, Hypochaeris), but the majority are similarly alien and mostly 26 native to Europe. The shared plants include Poa annua, Vulpia (ϭ Festuca) myuros, Chenopodium album, Capsella bursa-pastoris, Cakile maritima, Stellaria media, Trifolium campestre, and Sonchus oleraceus. None except the Cakile is especially maritime, but instead the species are generalized weeds of disturbed sites worldwide, and clearly their ruderal habits predispose them very well for island life.

Clearly resource preemption by earlier arrivals could severely impair the success of later potential colonists. The extent to which earlier arrivals can expand their niches and increase their population densities, and the order of arrival of species with varying propensities to benefit from species-poor habitats in this way, will affect the shapes of colonization and extinction curves. 38 island biogeography SOME EMBELLISHMENTS Rather than regard colonization rate as simply a function of island isolation or distance D, and extinction rate simply a function of island area A, it seems logical that both rates will be affected to some extent by both of these island properties.

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A cactus odyssey by Mauseth J.D. et al.


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