Conclusions

According to Bondavalli et al. (2000), a high value of redundancy signifies that either the system is maintaining a higher number of parallel trophic channels in order to compensate the effects of environmental stress, or it is well along its way to maturity. Even though these authors suggest that the cypress system is not very mature, in comparison to the graminoids, one would have to conclude that the cypress is a more mature system. A slower turnover rate, as one observes in arboreal systems such as the cypress, is indicative of a more mature ecosystem. Furthermore, the third dimension of terrestrial vegetation affords the system a greater number of parallel trophic channels to the higher trophic levels, compared with the mainly periphyton dominated graminoid system. Although the graminoid system has a large throughput of carbon and a substantial base of fast-producing periphy-ton, it appears relatively fragile in comparison to the cypress system, which is more resilient over the long run and has more trophic links between the primary trophic level and the heterotrophs. In conclusion, according to ascendency indices, scaleā€”in the guise of the vertical dimension, of the cypress makes that system more resilient as a whole, and less sensitive with respect to changes in material processing by many of its composite species.

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