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Title (Primary) What enables coexistence in plant communities? Weak versus strong species traits and the role of local processes
Author Dislich, C.; Johst, K.; Huth, A.;
Journal Ecological Modelling
Year 2010
Department OESA;
Volume 221
Issue 19
Language englisch;
Keywords Coexistence; Competition; Trade-off; Plant community; Forest dynamics; Simulation model
Abstract Explaining the coexistence of species that basically depend on the same resources has been a brainteaser for generations of ecologists. Different mechanisms have been proposed to facilitate coexistence in plant communities, where space is an important resource. Using a stochastic cellular automaton simulation model we analyze - separately and in combination - the influence of different species traits and processes which alter local competition on the coexistence of plant species over a fixed time horizon. We show that different species traits operate on different time scales in competition. We therefore suggest the concept of weak versus strong traits according to short- or long-term exclusion of species differing in these traits. As a consequence, highly non-linear trade-offs between weak and strong traits can result in communities. Furthermore, we found that trade-offs based on physiological species traits such as plant lifetime, dispersal range and plant growth, did not support broad and long-term coexistence-further processes such as density-dependent mortality and light-dependent colonization were necessary. This suggests that coexistence in plant communities requires (stabilizing) local processes to support the (equalizing) trade-offs in species traits.
ID 9884
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=9884
Dislich, C., Johst, K., Huth, A. (2010):
What enables coexistence in plant communities? Weak versus strong species traits and the role of local processes
Ecol. Model. 221 (19), 2227 - 2236