Ecophysiology of xerophytic and halophytic vegetation of a coastal alluvial plain in northern Venezuela: I. Site description and plant communities
MEDINA E., CRAM WJ., LEE HSJ., LÜTTGE U., POPP M., SMITH JAC., DIAZ M.
This paper describes the ecology of a coastal alluvial plain at Chichiriviche in northern Venezuela. The area supports a great diversity of plant communities, ranging from mangroves on the seaward edge of the plain to non‐halophytic, fresh‐water communities on the landward side. Small differences on topography result in a mosaic of saline and less‐saline environments. Rainfall is strongly seasonal, causing superficial flooding of the alluvial plain in the rainy season and the creation of a hypersaline Substratum during the dry season. As a consequence, much of the plain is devoid or vegetation. Towards the landward side of the plain there are numerous small ‘vegetation islands’, fringed by halophilic succulent herbs, and made up of deciduous and semi‐deciduous shrubs and trees together with non‐halophytic CAM plants such as cacti and bromeliads. In subsequent papers the results of ecophysiological studies of these diverse plant species are presented. Copyright © 1989, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved