Competition depends more on the functional structure of plant community than on standing biomass
- 1 Downloads
Hypothesising that competition is a major ecological factor that filters plants on the basis of traits, we tested whether competition intensity and importance were better explained by the functional structure of communities than by standing biomass. We re-analysed data of three experiments in which one to four species of phytometers have been transplanted with or without vegetation in communities displaying a range of standing biomass. Changes in performance of phytometers among communities were used to assess competition intensity and importance. The functional structure of each community was characterized by the mean and functional divergence of plant height, a trait significantly related to resource depletion by competition. Relationships between competition components and standing biomass or functional structure of communities were calculated for each experiment. Competition importance was explained more significantly by the mean of plant height than by the standing biomass of communities. When the range of functional diversity was large enough, the importance of competition was high in communities with low functional diversity because of similarity in functioning among highly competitive plants, and low in more diverse communities. Competition intensity generally showed lower or no relationship with standing biomass or functional structure of communities. These results confirm the dependence of competition on functional structure of communities.
KeywordsCommunity structure Competition importance Competition intensity Plant height Trait
Community-level Weighted Mean; FDiv–Functional Divergence; RGR–Relative Growth Rate
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bernard, C. 2008. Flore des causses. Bulletin de la Société Botanique du Centre-Ouest: 1–784.Google Scholar
- Bertness, M.D. and R.M. Callaway. 1994. The role of positive forces in natural communities: A post-cold war perspective. Trends Ecol. Evol. 144: 363–372.Google Scholar
- Fayolle, A. 2008. Structure des communautés de plantes herbacées sur les grands causses: Stratégies fonctionnelles des espèces et interactions interspécifiques, Montpellier SupAgro, Montpellier.Google Scholar
- Garnier, E. and M.L. Navas. 2011. A trait-based approach to comparative functional plant ecology: Concepts, methods and applications for agroecology. A review. Agronomy and Sustainable Development, In Press. 10.1007/sl3593-011-0036-yGoogle Scholar
- Kattge, J., S. Díaz, S. Lavorel, I.C. Prentice, P. Leadley, G. Bönisch, E. Gamier, M. Westoby, P.B. Reich, I.J. Wright, J.H.C. Cornelissen, C. Violle, S.P. Harrison, P.M. van Bodegom, M. Reichstein, B.J. Enquist, N.A. Soudzilovskaia, D.D. Ackerly, M. Anand, O. Atkin, M. Bahn, T.R. Baker, D. Baldocchi, R. Bekker, C.C. Blanco, B. Blonder, W.J. Bond, R. Bradstock, D.E. Bunker, F. Casanoves, J. Cavender-Bares, J.Q. Chambers, F.S. Chapin Iii, J. Chave, D. Coomes, W.K. Cornwell, J.M. Craine, B.H. Dobrin, L. Duarte, W. Durka, J. Elser, G. Esser, M. Estiarte, W.F. Fagan, J. Fang, F. Fernández-Méndez, A. Fidelis, B. Finegan, O. Flores, H. Ford, D. Frank, G.T. Freschet, N.M. Fyllas, R.V. Gallagher, W.A. Green, A.G. Gutierrez, T. Hickler, S.I. Higgins, J.G. Hodgson, A. Jalili, S. Jansen, C.A. Joly, A.J. Kerkhoff, D. Kirkup, K. Kitajima, M. Kleyer, S. Klotz, J.M.H. Knops, K. Kramer, I. Kühn, H. Kurokawa, D. Laughlin, T.D. Lee, M. Leishman, F. Lens, T. Lenz, S.L. Lewis, J. Lloyd, J. Llusia, F. Louault, S. Ma, M.D. Mahecha, P. Manning, T. Massad, B.E. Medlyn, J. Messier, A.T. Moles, S.C. Müller, K. Nadrowski, S. Naeem, Ü. Niinemets, S. Nöllert, A. Nüske, R. Ogaya, J. Oleksyn, V.G. Onipchenko, Y. Onoda, J. Ordoñez, G. Overbeck, W.A. Ozinga, S. Patiño, S. Paula, J.G. Pausas, J. Peñuelas, O.L. Phillips, V. Pillar, H. Poorter, L. Poorter, P. Poschlod, A. Prinzing, R. Proulx, A. Rammig, S. Reinsch, B. Reu, L. Sack, B. Salgado-Negret, J. Sardans, S. Shiodera, B. Shipley, A. Siefert, E. Sosinski, J.F. Soussana, E. Swaine, N. Swenson, K. Thompson, P. Thornton, M. Waldram, E. Weiher, M. White, S. White, S.J. Wright, B. Yguel, S. Zaehle, A.E. Zanne and C. Wirth. 2011. Try – a global database of plant traits. Global Change Biology: 17: 2905–2935.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Keddy, P. A. and B. Shipley. 1989. Competitive hierarchies in herbaceous plant communities. Oikos 54: 234–241.Google Scholar
- Lavorel, S., K. Grigulis, S. McIntyre, N.S.G. Williams, D. Garden, J. Dorrough, S. Berman, F. Quetier, A. Thebault and A. Bonis. 2008. Assessing functional diversity in the field - methodology matters ! Funct. Ecol. 22: 134–147.Google Scholar
- Leps, J., F. de Bello, S. Lavorel and S. Berman. 2006. Quantifying and interpreting functional diversity of natural communities: Practical considerations matter. Preslia 78: 481–501.Google Scholar
- Reader, R.J., S.D. Wilson, J.W. Belcher, I. Wisheu, P.A. Keddy, D. Tilman, E.C. Morris, J.B. Grace, J.B. McGraw, H. Olff, R. Turkington, E. Klein, Y. Leung, B. Shipley, R. Vanhulst, M.E. Johansson, C. Nilsson, J. Gurevitch, K. Grigulis and B.E. Beisner. 1994. Plant competition in relation to neighbor biomass - an intercontinental study with poa pratensis. Ecology 75: 1753–1760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- StatSoft. 2009. Statistica v9. www.statsoft.fr.Google Scholar
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.