Plants and insects in early old-field succession: comparison of an English site and an American site

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society

DOI of Published Version



The plant and insect communities of early, secondary succession beginning with bare ground in an Old World site (southern Britain) and a New World site (Iowa, U.S.A.) shared a number of characteristics. Both sites showed similar temporal patterns of plant species cover and species richness, although overall richness was greater at the Old World site. Annuals dominated at both sites during the first year of succession and were largely replaced by perennials in the second year. Monocotyledons were more abundant at the Old World site, especially in the second year. The two sites differed markedly in the contribution of native and introduced plant species, with the Old World site dominated by natives and the New World site by alien plant species. Insect herbivore load was greater at the Old World site, when expressed in terms of structural complexity of the vegetation, suggesting that there may be major differences in the influence of herbivores on the direction and rate of succession at the two sites.


Sustainability, Arthropods, early succession, herbivores, plants, transatlantic variation, vegetation structure

Published Article/Book Citation

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 31:1 (1987) pp.59-74.

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