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Trends Ecol Evol. 1997 Mar;12(3):108-11.

Wind as an ecological factor.

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The School of Biological Sciences, Manchester University, 3.614 Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK M13 9PT.


Wind has long been regarded as an important ecological factor in forests owing to the dramatic damage hurricanes can wreak. However, the long-term wind regime of a site also exerts a strong influence on the growth of trees. A relatively large amount is known about the acclimation of trees to wind but less about intra- or interspecific adaption to high winds. In fact, changes resulting from the effect of wind may have a greater effect on the ecology of forests than the more acute effects of destructive stroms. Improved understanding of the mechanical effects of wind is helping foresters manage their plantations and may help us to account better for local and geographical variations in forest ecology.

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