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Trait-based filtering from the regional species pool into local grassland communities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Plant Ecology, ISSN 1752-9921, E-ISSN 1752-993X, Vol. 7, no 4, 347-355 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For plants to establish in a local community from a pool of possible colonizers from the region, it must pass through a series of filters. Which of the filters is most important in this process has been much debated. In this study, we explored how species are filtered from the regional species pool into local communities. The aim was to determine if differences in species abundance and functional traits could explain which species from the regional species pool establish at the local scale and if the filtering differed between grassland communities.

This study took place in a cultivated landscape in southeastern Sweden. We estimated plant species abundance in 12 ex-arable field sites and 8 adjacent seminatural grassland sites and in a 100-m radius around the center of each site. We used Monte Carlo simulations to examine if species abundance and functional traits (height, seed mass, clonal abilities, specific leaf area and dispersal method) controlled the filtering of species from the regional pool into local communities.

On average, only 28% of species found in the regional pool established in the ex-arable field sites and 45% in the seminatural grassland sites, indicating that the size of the regional species pool was not limiting local richness. For both grassland types, species abundance in the regional pool was positively correlated with species occurrence at the local scale. We found evidence for both species interaction filtering and dispersal limitation influencing the local assembly. Both local and regional processes were thus influencing the filtering of species from the regional species pool into local communities. In addition, the age of the communities influenced species filtering, indicating that community assembly and the importance of different filters in that process change over succession.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 7, no 4, 347-355 p.
Keyword [en]
Assembly rules, community assembly, dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, functional traits, limiting similarity
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102122DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtt032ISI: 000339917700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102122DiVA: diva2:708183
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-03-27 Created: 2014-03-27 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Plant community assembly in grazed grasslands
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plant community assembly in grazed grasslands
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Species assembly into local communities from the surrounding region can be caused either by species failure to reach the site (i.e. seed limitation) or to establish (i.e. establishment limitation). The aim of this thesis was to investigate plant species assembly and to determine the relative importance of different factors in that process.

In a cultivated landscape in southeast Sweden, plant community assembly was studied in grazed ex-arable fields. Community assembly from the surrounding region into the local community was explored using trait-based null models and seed sowing and transplanting experiments. The influence of local environmental factors and landscape history and structure on community assembly was also studied. In addition, differences in species assembly between ex-arable fields and semi-natural grasslands were explored.

Seed limitation was the strongest filter on local community assembly. Only a fraction (36%) of species in a region dispersed to a local site and adding seeds/transplants increased species establishment. Species abundance at the regional scale, species dispersal method and seed mass strongly influenced which species arrived at the local sites. Establishment limitation also affected the assembly. Of species arriving at a site 78% did establish, seedling survival was low and which species established was influenced by species interactions, local environmental conditions and stochastic events. In addition, landscape structure that determined the species richness in the regional species pool influenced the local assembly. The comparison between assembly in ex-arable fields and semi-natural grasslands indicated that the main cause of difference in species assembly between them was difference in their age.

The main conclusion of this thesis is that regional processes are more important than local factors in determining plant community assembly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 44 p.
Keyword
Assembly rules, dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, establishment limitation, ex-arable fields, functional traits, landscape history, semi-natural grasslands, seed bank, seed augmentation, seed rain, trait based filtering
National Category
Ecology Botany
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102185 (URN)978-91-7447-878-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-09, Stora föreläsningssalen, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och botanik, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Submitted. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-04-15 Created: 2014-03-27 Last updated: 2017-03-08Bibliographically approved

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