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The consistent dominance by mesophytes among Southwest, South, Ridgetop, North and Low Slope ELTPs resulted in a PERSIM range of 42-64%.
Conversely, the importance of Faffus grandifolia, Acer saccharum and other mesophytes sharply increased from modest values (IV = 18.2-26.2) on the mid- to high slope ELTPs to high values (IV = 50.1-63.5) on the Low Slope and Terrace ELTPs, respectively.
Conversely, if the fire return time were longer than 50-70 y, it is likely the communities of mid and upper slopes and ridgetops would have been more strongly dominated by mesophytes at the time of the 1806-7 land survey.
saccharum saplings and small trees, any death of the large overstory Quercus and Carya trees will accelerate the conversion to mesophytes. Excessively high mortality in the "red oak" group in the Central Hardwood Forest Region as found at Land Between The Lakes (West Kentucky and Middle Tennessee) over the past 40 y (Wellbaum, 1989; Hokans, 1999; McQuaide, 2008) accentuates the problem by creating gaps.
However, the community of this ELTP was strongly dominated by late successional species including Fagus grandifolia, Acer saccharum, Ulmus rubra, Fraxinus, Carya cordiformis and other mesophytes (combined IV = 63.5; Table 2).
Some genera on this list have mitigating conditions, such as succulence, that permit them to function as "temporary mesophytes" (e.g., many orchids; Hyacinthaceae).
The search for explanations of how mesophytes can survive in the desert brought me to the field of biogenic weathering and climatic changes in the Near East.
Most of these relative mesophytes are regarded as relicts of moister periods.
I regard these plants as relicts of the invasion of mesophytes into the extreme desert.
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