Klemow, Kenneth M. 1988. A DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF RARITY AND COMMONNESS AMONG CO-OCCURRING HERBACEOUS PLANT SPECIES. Contributed paper: Ecological Society of America meeting. Abstract: Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 69:193.
A community of herbs growing naturally in a 50-year-old limestone quarry near Syracuse, New York was examined over a 6-year period. The purpose of this study was to determine patterns of commonness and rarity among the component species and to find those demographic attributes (including rates of emergence, survival, and reproduction) that might cause some species to be common and others to be rare on the site. Some of the species (Melilotus alba, Picris hieracioides, and Hypericum perforatum) were relatively common; their densities often exceeded 50 individuals/m2. Other species (Silene cserei, and Satureja acinos) were less abundant; their densities were typically less than 5 individuals/m2. Densities of Centaurea maculosa and Arenaria serpyllifolia increased by more than 20-fold during the study, whereas that of Daucus carota declined almost to extinction. Common species typically had greater rates of recruitment than rare species. No consistent differences in survival or reproduction were observed, however.