<< back

Publication Details

Reference Category Journals
DOI / URL link
Title (Primary) Identifying mechanisms that structure ecological communities by snapping model parameters to empirically observed tradeoffs
Author Clark, A.T.; Lehman, C.; Tilman, D.;
Journal Ecology Letters
Year 2018
Department iDiv; PHYDIV;
Volume 21
Issue 4
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T11;
Supplements https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/action/downloadSupplement?doi=10.1111%2Fele.12910&attachmentId=2197305217
Keywords Cedar Creek, coexistence mechanism, ecological community, grassland ecology, LTER, mechanis- tic model, predictive model, resource competition, tradeoff.
UFZ wide themes RU1;
Abstract Theory predicts that interspecific tradeoffs are primary determinants of coexistence and community composition. Using information from empirically observed tradeoffs to augment the parametrisation of mechanism‐based models should therefore improve model predictions, provided that tradeoffs and mechanisms are chosen correctly. We developed and tested such a model for 35 grassland plant species using monoculture measurements of three species characteristics related to nitrogen uptake and retention, which previous experiments indicate as important at our site. Matching classical theoretical expectations, these characteristics defined a distinct tradeoff surface, and models parameterised with these characteristics closely matched observations from experimental multi‐species mixtures. Importantly, predictions improved significantly when we incorporated information from tradeoffs by ‘snapping’ characteristics to the nearest location on the tradeoff surface, suggesting that the tradeoffs and mechanisms we identify are important determinants of local community structure. This ‘snapping’ method could therefore constitute a broadly applicable test for identifying influential tradeoffs and mechanisms.
ID 20065
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=20065
Clark, A.T., Lehman, C., Tilman, D. (2018):
Identifying mechanisms that structure ecological communities by snapping model parameters to empirically observed tradeoffs
Ecol. Lett. 21 (4), 494 - 505