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Community Ecology

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 23–28 | Cite as

Soil history affects plant growth and competitive ability in herbaceous species

  • G. Bonanomi
  • S. MazzoleniEmail author
Article

Abstract

Belowground soil characteristics are recognised as possible key factors in affecting plant species coexistence and community organisation. In this study, soil heterogeneity was generated by the growth of different herbaceous plants under controlled conditions, and thus related to growth and competitive ability of three naturally co-occurring species (Holcus lanatus, Inula viscosa and Pulicaria dysenterica). Soil changes induced by all species caused significant specific effects on the performance of these species and on their competitive hierarchies. Holcus lanatus was the strongest competitor on disturbed soil, but showed a dramatic negative feedback in monoculture. The experimental results are relevant for understanding community ecology and suggest that the investigation of species coexistence should take into account the possible role of plant-soil feedback processes.

Keyword

Plant-soil negative feedback RCI index Soil history Species interaction 

Abbreviations

RCI

Relative Competition Index

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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2005

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.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Arboricoltura, Botanica e Patologia VegetaleUniversity of Naples Federico IIItaly

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