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1.
Ecology ; 2020 Feb 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32112405

RESUMO

Current evidence suggests that tree-fall gaps can influence forest structure and dynamics by enabling certain species guilds to persist over the long term. Here we assessed the development of local size hierarchies and asymmetric competition for light in tree-fall gaps, and the role played by these two processes for the persistence of rare light-demanding species in the Barro Colorado Island Forest Dynamics Plot (Panama). We performed spatial point pattern analysis, considering both the spatial locations (x,y) and the diameter at breast height (DBH) of all the woody plant recruits from the 1985 and 2000 censuses located in tree-fall gaps, and followed their fate up to the 1990-2010 and 2005-2010 censuses, respectively. For these two recruit cohorts, we found that, from the initial census until 5-10 years later, close neighbors presented a larger DBH than the mean DBH of all individuals within gaps, which points to a positive growth response of recruits to the increased light levels in the gap centers. However, close neighbors of the 1985 cohort also showed larger than expected DBH differences that disappeared in subsequent censuses, indicating an enhancement of size differences between neighbors and the mortality of the smaller individuals. Finally, for both recruit cohorts, we found that 10 to 15 years after gap formation, surviving individuals of rare light-demanding species had a negative impact on survival of neighboring individuals of other species. Our results indicate that gaps favor the persistence of rare light-demanding species through the development of local size hierarchies and asymmetric competition for light. The strength of this process, however, apparently depends upon gap size and the role played by the woody plants already existing at the time of gap formation in early colonization. Moreover, our findings suggest that in this forest, gaps may enhance colonization of plant species typical of nearby dry tropical areas, and that, over the coming decades, similar processes could strongly modify the structure and dynamics of moist tropical forests in the region.

2.
Ecology ; 101(2): e02922, 2020 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31652337

RESUMO

Stochasticity is a core component of ecology, as it underlies key processes that structure and create variability in nature. Despite its fundamental importance in ecological systems, the concept is often treated as synonymous with unpredictability in community ecology, and studies tend to focus on single forms of stochasticity rather than taking a more holistic view. This has led to multiple narratives for how stochasticity mediates community dynamics. Here, we present a framework that describes how different forms of stochasticity (notably demographic and environmental stochasticity) combine to provide underlying and predictable structure in diverse communities. This framework builds on the deep ecological understanding of stochastic processes acting at individual and population levels and in modules of a few interacting species. We support our framework with a mathematical model that we use to synthesize key literature, demonstrating that stochasticity is more than simple uncertainty. Rather, stochasticity has profound and predictable effects on community dynamics that are critical for understanding how diversity is maintained. We propose next steps that ecologists might use to explore the role of stochasticity for structuring communities in theoretical and empirical systems, and thereby enhance our understanding of community dynamics.

3.
Data Brief ; 27: 104658, 2019 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31700959

RESUMO

Datasets presented here were employed in the main work "Spatial structure and soil properties shape local community structure of plant-parasitic nematodes in cultivated olive trees in southern Spain" Archidona-Yuste et al., 2020. In this research, we aimed to unravel the diversity of plant-parasitic nematodes (PPN) associated with cultivated olive (Olea europaea subsp. europaea var. europaea) in southern Spain, Andalusia. The olive growing area of Andalusia is of high agriculture and socio-economic importance with an extensive distribution of this crop. To this end, we conducted a systematic survey comprising 376 commercial olive orchards covering the diversity of cropping systems applied. Data showed 128 species of PPN belonging to 38 genera and to 13 families. In addition, an extensive data set regarding to potential factors in structuring the community patterns of PPN found in the 376 commercial olive orchards sampled is provided. Three variables data set were compiled including above-ground environment, soil and agronomic management. Overall, 48 explanatory variables were selected as determinist processes on shaping the diversity of PPN. Finally, data also showed the values regarding to the partition of beta diversity into contributions of single sites to overall beta diversity (LCBD) and intro contributions of individual species to overall beta diversity (SCBD). Data may serve as benchmarks for other groups working in the field of PPN diversity associated with crops and of belowground communities and ecosystems.

4.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 17708, 2019 Nov 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31776351

RESUMO

Climate change forces many species to move their ranges to higher latitudes or elevations. Resulting immigration or emigration of species might lead to functional changes, e.g., in the trait distribution and composition of ecological assemblages. Here, we combined approaches from biogeography (species distribution models; SDMs) and community ecology (functional diversity) to investigate potential effects of climate-driven range changes on frugivorous bird assemblages along a 3000 m elevational gradient in the tropical Andes. We used SDMs to model current and projected future occurrence probabilities of frugivorous bird species from the lowlands to the tree line. SDM-derived probabilities of occurrence were combined with traits relevant for seed dispersal of fleshy-fruited plants to calculate functional dispersion (FDis; a measure of functional diversity) for current and future bird assemblages. Comparisons of FDis between current and projected future assemblages showed consistent results across four dispersal scenarios, five climate models and two representative concentration pathways. Projections indicated a decrease of FDis in the lowlands, an increase of FDis at lower mid-elevations and little changes at high elevations. This suggests that functional dispersion responds differently to global warming at different elevational levels, likely modifying avian seed dispersal functions and plant regeneration in forest ecosystems along tropical mountains.

5.
Trends Ecol Evol ; 34(3): 211-223, 2019 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30591209

RESUMO

The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG) is one of the most widely studied patterns in ecology, yet no consensus has been reached about its underlying causes. We argue that the reasons for this are the verbal nature of existing hypotheses, the failure to mechanistically link interacting ecological and evolutionary processes to the LDG, and the fact that empirical patterns are often consistent with multiple explanations. To address this issue, we synthesize current LDG hypotheses, uncovering their eco-evolutionary mechanisms, hidden assumptions, and commonalities. Furthermore, we propose mechanistic eco-evolutionary modeling and an inferential approach that makes use of geographic, phylogenetic, and trait-based patterns to assess the relative importance of different processes for generating the LDG.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Evolução Biológica , Ecologia , Modelos Biológicos , Distribuição Animal , Geografia , Traços de História de Vida , Filogenia , Dispersão Vegetal
6.
Ecology ; 100(3): e02591, 2019 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30582633

RESUMO

Environmental filtering and dispersal limitation can both maintain diversity in plant communities by aggregating conspecifics, but parsing the contribution of each process has proven difficult empirically. Here, we assess the contribution of filtering and dispersal limitation to the spatial aggregation patterns of 456 tree species in a hyperdiverse Amazonian forest and find distinct functional trait correlates of interspecific variation in these processes. Spatial point process model analysis revealed that both mechanisms are important drivers of intraspecific aggregation for the majority of species. Leaf drought tolerance was correlated with species topographic distributions in this aseasonal rainforest, showing that future increases in drought severity could significantly impact community structure. In addition, seed mass was associated with the spatial scale and density of dispersal-related aggregation. Taken together, these results suggest environmental filtering and dispersal limitation act in concert to influence the spatial and functional structure of diverse forest communities.


Assuntos
Florestas , Árvores , Fenótipo , Folhas de Planta , Floresta Úmida , Clima Tropical
7.
Nature ; 554(7693): 519-522, 2018 02 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29443966

RESUMO

Remote sensing enables the quantification of tropical deforestation with high spatial resolution. This in-depth mapping has led to substantial advances in the analysis of continent-wide fragmentation of tropical forests. Here we identified approximately 130 million forest fragments in three continents that show surprisingly similar power-law size and perimeter distributions as well as fractal dimensions. Power-law distributions have been observed in many natural phenomena such as wildfires, landslides and earthquakes. The principles of percolation theory provide one explanation for the observed patterns, and suggest that forest fragmentation is close to the critical point of percolation; simulation modelling also supports this hypothesis. The observed patterns emerge not only from random deforestation, which can be described by percolation theory, but also from a wide range of deforestation and forest-recovery regimes. Our models predict that additional forest loss will result in a large increase in the total number of forest fragments-at maximum by a factor of 33 over 50 years-as well as a decrease in their size, and that these consequences could be partly mitigated by reforestation and forest protection.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/estatística & dados numéricos , Agricultura Florestal/estatística & dados numéricos , Florestas , Mapeamento Geográfico , Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Clima Tropical , Biomassa , Imagens de Satélites
8.
Ann Bot ; 121(3): 471-482, 2018 03 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29300822

RESUMO

Background and Aims: Nursery pollination is a highly specialized interaction in which pollinators breed inside plant reproductive structures. Pollinator occupancy of host plants often depends on plant location, flowering synchrony and sex. The nursery pollination system between the dioecious dwarf palm Chamaerops humilis (Arecaceae) and the host-specific palm flower weevil Derelomus chamaeropsis was investigated. For the first time, sex, flowering synchrony and spatial distribution of plants was related to the occupancy probability and the abundance of D. chamaeropsis larvae, important traits influencing both pollinator and plant fitness. Methods: During the flowering season, all inflorescences in anthesis were counted every 12 d and a flowering synchrony index was calculated taking into account all possible correlations with generalized linear mixed models. To analyse the spatial structure of plants, larva occupancy and abundance, different techniques of spatial point pattern analysis were used. Key results: In total, 5986 larvae in 1063 C. humilis inflorescences were recorded over three consecutive seasons. Male inflorescences showed a higher presence and abundance of weevil larvae than females, but interestingly approx. 30 % of the females held larvae. Also, larvae occurred mainly in highly synchronous plants with a low number of inflorescences, perhaps because those plants did not lead to a resource dilution effect. There was no evidence of spatial patterns in larva occupancy or abundance at any spatial scale, suggesting high dispersal ability of adult weevil. Conclusions: The results in a nursery-pollinated dioecious palm demonstrate that plant sex, flowering display and flowering synchrony act as additive forces influencing the presence and abundance of the specialized pollinator larvae. Contradicting previous results, clear evidence that female dwarf palms also provide rewarding oviposition sites was found, and thus the plant 'pays' for the pollination services. The findings highlight that plant local aggregation is not always the main determinant of pollinator attraction, whereas flower traits and phenology could be critical in specialized plant-pollinator interactions.


Assuntos
Arecaceae/fisiologia , Flores , Polinização , Gorgulhos , Animais , Arecaceae/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Flores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Flores/fisiologia , Larva , Estações do Ano , Análise Espaço-Temporal , Gorgulhos/fisiologia
9.
Ecol Lett ; 20(11): 1469-1478, 2017 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28980377

RESUMO

Negative distance dependence (NDisD), or reduced recruitment near adult conspecifics, is thought to explain the astounding diversity of tropical forests. While many studies show greater mortality at near vs. far distances from adults, these studies do not seek to track changes in the peak seedling curve over time, thus limiting our ability to link NDisD to coexistence. Using census data collected over 12 years from central Panama in conjunction with spatial mark-connection functions, we show evidence for NDisD for many species, and find that the peak seedling curve shifts away from conspecific adults over time. We find wide variation in the strength of NDisD, which was correlated with seed size and canopy position, but other life-history traits showed no relationship with variation in NDisD mortality. Our results document shifts in peak seedling densities over time, thus providing evidence for the hypothesized spacing mechanism necessary for diversity maintenance in tropical forests.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Florestas , Plântula/fisiologia , Árvores/fisiologia , Modelos Biológicos , Panamá , Densidade Demográfica , Dinâmica Populacional , Plântula/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Clima Tropical
10.
Proc Biol Sci ; 284(1863)2017 Sep 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28931739

RESUMO

Understanding the structure and dynamics of highly diverse tropical forests is challenging. Here we investigate the factors that drive the spatio-temporal variation of local tree numbers and species richness in a tropical forest (including 1250 plots of 20 × 20 m2). To this end, we use a series of dynamic models that are built around the local spatial variation of mortality and recruitment rates, and ask which combination of processes can explain the observed spatial and temporal variation in tree and species numbers. We find that processes not included in classical neutral theory are needed to explain these fundamental patterns of the observed local forest dynamics. We identified a large spatio-temporal variability in the local number of recruits as the main missing mechanism, whereas variability of mortality rates contributed to a lesser extent. We also found that local tree numbers stabilize at typical values which can be explained by a simple analytical model. Our study emphasized the importance of spatio-temporal variability in recruitment beyond demographic stochasticity for explaining the local heterogeneity of tropical forests.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Florestas , Árvores/classificação , Clima Tropical , Modelos Biológicos , Análise Espaço-Temporal
11.
J Anim Ecol ; 86(4): 800-811, 2017 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28493450

RESUMO

Interactions between resource and consumer species result in complex ecological networks. The overall structure of these networks is often stable in space and time, but little is known about the temporal stability of the functional roles of consumer species in these networks. We used a trait-based approach to investigate whether consumers (frugivorous birds) show similar degrees of functional specialisation on resources (plants) in ecological networks across seasons. We additionally tested whether closely related bird species have similar degrees of functional specialisation and whether birds that are functionally specialised on specific resource types within a season are flexible in switching to other resource types in other seasons. We analysed four seasonal replicates of two species-rich plant-frugivore networks from the tropical Andes. To quantify fruit preferences of frugivorous birds, we projected their interactions with plants into a multidimensional plant trait space. To measure functional specialisation of birds, we calculated a species' functional niche breadth (the extent of seasonal plant trait space utilised by a particular bird) and functional originality (the extent to which a bird species' fruit preference functionally differs from those of other species in a seasonal network). We additionally calculated functional flexibility, i.e. the ability of bird species to change their fruit preference across seasons in response to variation in plant resources. Functional specialisation of bird species varied more among species than across seasons, and phylogenetically similar bird species showed similar degrees of functional niche breadth (phylogenetic signal λ = 0·81) and functional originality (λ = 0·89). Additionally, we found that birds with high functional flexibility across seasons had narrow functional niche breadth and high functional originality per season, suggesting that birds that are seasonally specialised on particular resources are most flexible in switching to other fruit resources across seasons. The high flexibility of functionally specialised bird species to switch seasonally to other resources challenges the view that consumer species rely on functionally similar resources throughout the year. This flexibility of consumer species may be an important, but widely neglected mechanism that could potentially stabilise consumer-resource networks in response to human disturbance and environmental change.


Assuntos
Aves , Comportamento Alimentar , Frutas , Animais , Ecossistema , Filogenia , Estações do Ano
12.
Ecol Evol ; 6(23): 8556-8568, 2016 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28031807

RESUMO

Throughout Europe, increased levels of land abandonment lead to (re)colonization of old lands by forests and shrublands. Very little is known about the spatial pattern of plants recolonizing such old fields. We mapped in two 21-22-ha plots, located in the Doñana National Park (Spain), all adult individuals of the endozoochorous dwarf palm Chamaerops humilisL. and determined their sex and sizes. We used techniques of spatial point pattern analysis (SPPA) to precisely quantify the spatial structure of these C. humilis populations. The objective was to identify potential processes generating the patterns and their likely consequences on palm reproductive success. We used (1) Thomas point process models to describe the clustering of the populations, (2) random labeling to test the sexual spatial segregation, and (3) mark correlation functions to assess spatial structure in plant sizes. Plants in both plots showed two critical scales of clustering, with small clusters of a radius of 2.8-4 m nested within large clusters with 38-44 m radius. Additional to the clustered individuals, 11% and 27% of all C. humilis individuals belonged to a random pattern that was independently superimposed to the clustered pattern. The complex spatial pattern of C. humilis could be explained by the effect of different seed-dispersers and predators' behavior and their relative abundances. Plant sexes had no spatial segregation. Plant sizes showed a spatial aggregation inside the clusters, with a decreasing correlation with distance. Clustering of C. humilis is strongly reliant on its seed dispersers and stressful environmental conditions. However, it seems that the spatial patterns and dispersal strategies of the dwarf palm make it a successful plant for new habitat colonization. Our results provide new information on the colonization ability of C. humilis and can help to develop management strategies to recover plant populations.

13.
Proc Biol Sci ; 283(1843)2016 Nov 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27903871

RESUMO

Understanding what factors drive fluctuations in the abundance of endangered species is a difficult ecological problem but a major requirement to attain effective management and conservation success. The ecological traits of large mammals make this task even more complicated, calling for integrative approaches. We develop a framework combining individual-based modelling and statistical inference to assess alternative hypotheses on brown bear dynamics in the Cantabrian range (Iberian Peninsula). Models including the effect of environmental factors on mortality rates were able to reproduce three decades of variation in the number of females with cubs of the year (Fcoy), including the decline that put the population close to extinction in the mid-nineties, and the following increase in brown bear numbers. This external effect prevailed over density-dependent mechanisms (sexually selected infanticide and female reproductive suppression), with a major impact of climate driven changes in resource availability and a secondary role of changes in human pressure. Predicted changes in population structure revealed a nonlinear relationship between total abundance and the number of Fcoy, highlighting the risk of simple projections based on indirect abundance indices. This study demonstrates the advantages of integrative, mechanistic approaches and provides a widely applicable framework to improve our understanding of wildlife dynamics.


Assuntos
Espécies em Perigo de Extinção , Meio Ambiente , Reprodução , Ursidae , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Feminino , Densidade Demográfica , Dinâmica Populacional , Espanha
15.
Glob Ecol Biogeogr ; 25(5): 575-585, 2016 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27667967

RESUMO

AIM: It has been recently suggested that different 'unified theories of biodiversity and biogeography' can be characterized by three common 'minimal sufficient rules': (1) species abundance distributions follow a hollow curve, (2) species show intraspecific aggregation, and (3) species are independently placed with respect to other species. Here, we translate these qualitative rules into a quantitative framework and assess if these minimal rules are indeed sufficient to predict multiple macroecological biodiversity patterns simultaneously. LOCATION: Tropical forest plots in Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama, and in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka. METHODS: We assess the predictive power of the three rules using dynamic and spatial simulation models in combination with census data from the two forest plots. We use two different versions of the model: (1) a neutral model and (2) an extended model that allowed for species differences in dispersal distances. In a first step we derive model parameterizations that correctly represent the three minimal rules (i.e. the model quantitatively matches the observed species abundance distribution and the distribution of intraspecific aggregation). In a second step we applied the parameterized models to predict four additional spatial biodiversity patterns. RESULTS: Species-specific dispersal was needed to quantitatively fulfil the three minimal rules. The model with species-specific dispersal correctly predicted the species-area relationship, but failed to predict the distance decay, the relationship between species abundances and aggregations, and the distribution of a spatial co-occurrence index of all abundant species pairs. These results were consistent over the two forest plots. MAIN CONCLUSIONS: The three 'minimal sufficient' rules only provide an incomplete approximation of the stochastic spatial geometry of biodiversity in tropical forests. The assumption of independent interspecific placements is most likely violated in many forests due to shared or distinct habitat preferences. Furthermore, our results highlight missing knowledge about the relationship between species abundances and their aggregation.

17.
PLoS One ; 11(6): e0156913, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27305092

RESUMO

Studies of forest dynamics plots (FDPs) have revealed a variety of negative density-dependent (NDD) demographic interactions, especially among conspecific trees. These interactions can affect growth rate, recruitment and mortality, and they play a central role in the maintenance of species diversity in these complex ecosystems. Here we use an equal area annulus (EAA) point-pattern method to comprehensively analyze data from two tropical FDPs, Barro Colorado Island in Panama and Sinharaja in Sri Lanka. We show that these NDD interactions also influence the continued evolutionary diversification of even distantly related tree species in these FDPs. We examine the details of a wide range of these interactions between individual trees and the trees that surround them. All these interactions, and their cumulative effects, are strongest among conspecific focal and surrounding tree species in both FDPs. They diminish in magnitude with increasing phylogenetic distance between heterospecific focal and surrounding trees, but do not disappear or change the pattern of their dependence on size, density, frequency or physical distance even among the most distantly related trees. The phylogenetic persistence of all these effects provides evidence that interactions between tree species that share an ecosystem may continue to promote adaptive divergence even after the species' gene pools have become separated. Adaptive divergence among taxa would operate in stark contrast to an alternative possibility that has previously been suggested, that distantly related species with dispersal-limited distributions and confronted with unpredictable neighbors will tend to converge on common strategies of resource use. In addition, we have also uncovered a positive density-dependent effect: growth rates of large trees are boosted in the presence of a smaller basal area of surrounding trees. We also show that many of the NDD interactions switch sign rapidly as focal trees grow in size, and that their cumulative effect can strongly influence the distributions and species composition of the trees that surround the focal trees during the focal trees' lifetimes.


Assuntos
Florestas , Filogenia , Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Clima Tropical , Aclimatação , Algoritmos , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Genes de Cloroplastos/genética , Geografia , Modelos Biológicos , Panamá , Densidade Demográfica , Especificidade da Espécie , Sri Lanka , Árvores/classificação , Árvores/genética
18.
Ecology ; 97(2): 347-60, 2016 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27145610

RESUMO

Recent theory predicts that stochastic dilution effects may result in species-rich communities with statistically independent species spatial distributions, even if the underlying ecological processes structuring the community are driven by deterministic niche differences. Stochastic dilution is a consequence of the stochastic geometry of biodiversity where the identities of the nearest neighbors of individuals of a given species are largely unpredictable. Under such circumstances, the outcome of deterministic species interactions may vary greatly among individuals of a given species. Consequently, nonrandom patterns in the biotic neighborhoods of species, which might be expected from coexistence or community assembly theory (e.g., individuals of a given species are neighbored by phylogenetically similar species), are weakened or do not emerge, resulting in statistical independence of species spatial distributions. We used data on phylogenetic and functional similarity of tree species in five large forest dynamics plots located across a gradient of species richness to test predictions of the stochastic dilution hypothesis. To quantify the biotic neighborhood of a focal species we used the mean phylogenetic (or functional) dissimilarity of the individuals of the focal species to all species within a local neighborhood. We then compared the biotic neighborhood of species to predictions from stochastic null models to test if a focal species was surrounded by more or less similar species than expected by chance. The proportions of focal species that showed spatial independence with respect to their biotic neighborhoods increased with total species richness. Locally dominant, high-abundance species were more likely to be surrounded by species that were statistically more similar or more dissimilar than expected by chance. Our results suggest that stochasticity may play a stronger role in shaping the spatial structure of species rich tropical forest communities than it does in species poorer forests. These findings represent an important step towards understanding the factors that govern the spatial configuration of local biotic communities. The stochastic dilution effect is a simple geometric mechanism that can explain why species' spatial distributions in species-rich communities approximate independence from their biotic neighborhood, even if deterministic niche processes are in effect.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Florestas , Modelos Biológicos , Filogenia , Processos Estocásticos
19.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(13): 3551-6, 2016 Mar 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26976567

RESUMO

Vegetation gap patterns in arid grasslands, such as the "fairy circles" of Namibia, are one of nature's greatest mysteries and subject to a lively debate on their origin. They are characterized by small-scale hexagonal ordering of circular bare-soil gaps that persists uniformly in the landscape scale to form a homogeneous distribution. Pattern-formation theory predicts that such highly ordered gap patterns should be found also in other water-limited systems across the globe, even if the mechanisms of their formation are different. Here we report that so far unknown fairy circles with the same spatial structure exist 10,000 km away from Namibia in the remote outback of Australia. Combining fieldwork, remote sensing, spatial pattern analysis, and process-based mathematical modeling, we demonstrate that these patterns emerge by self-organization, with no correlation with termite activity; the driving mechanism is a positive biomass-water feedback associated with water runoff and biomass-dependent infiltration rates. The remarkable match between the patterns of Australian and Namibian fairy circles and model results indicate that both patterns emerge from a nonuniform stationary instability, supporting a central universality principle of pattern-formation theory. Applied to the context of dryland vegetation, this principle predicts that different systems that go through the same instability type will show similar vegetation patterns even if the feedback mechanisms and resulting soil-water distributions are different, as we indeed found by comparing the Australian and the Namibian fairy-circle ecosystems. These results suggest that biomass-water feedbacks and resultant vegetation gap patterns are likely more common in remote drylands than is currently known.


Assuntos
Pradaria , Modelos Biológicos , Desenvolvimento Vegetal , Poaceae/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Biomassa , Retroalimentação Fisiológica , Namíbia , Chuva , Austrália Ocidental
20.
New Phytol ; 211(1): 255-64, 2016 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26876007

RESUMO

In plant species that critically rely on mycorrhizal symbionts for germination and seedling establishment, distance-dependent decline of mycorrhizal fungi in the soil can be hypothesized to lead to significant spatial clustering as a result of nonrandom spatial patterns of seedling establishment. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the abundance and distribution of mycorrhizal fungi in the soil and how they relate to spatial patterns of adults and seedling recruitment in two related orchid species. We combined assessments of spatial variation in fungal abundance using quantitative PCR (qPCR) with spatial point pattern analyses based on long-term demographic data and cluster point process models. qPCR analyses showed that fungal abundance declined rapidly with distance from the adult host plants. Spatial point pattern analyses showed that successful recruitment in both species was clustered significantly around adult plants and that the decline in the neighborhood density of recruits around adults coincided with the decline of fungal abundance around adult plants. Overall, these results indicate that the distribution and abundance of fungal associates in the soil may have a strong impact on the aboveground distribution of its partner.


Assuntos
Micorrizas/fisiologia , Orchidaceae/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Orchidaceae/microbiologia , Plântula/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Microbiologia do Solo , Bélgica , Micorrizas/genética , Raízes de Plantas/microbiologia
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