Abstract Detail



Ecology

Williams, Evelyn [1], Wendy, Semski [2], Zeldin, Jacob [3], Hipp, Andrew [4], Larkin , Daniel J [5].

Phylogenetic distance impacts strength of competition in stressful environments.

Competition and facilitation are important components of community assembly and species coexistence. We test if competition is affected by species relatedness using a greenhouse experiment between species pairs commonly used in prairie restoration. We hypothesize that the strength of competition between plants is correlated with phylogenetic relatedness.  Closely related species should compete more strongly than distantly related species due to similar traits and niches. In addition, stressful environmental conditions may alter or intensify interactions. We hypothesized that the strength of competition would be stronger in a water-limited environment compared to a benign environment. We tested a total of 79 species pairs for 8 weeks in benign soil and water-limited sand pots, measuring traits every two weeks and harvesting above- and below-ground biomass. We calculated the relative intensity of interaction which measures the strength competition and facilitation. Using mixed models, we found that distantly related species facilitate growth and closely related species compete more strongly in harsh conditions. However, relatedness did not have an impact in benign conditions. These findings show that phylogenetic relatedness can impact competition, with possible implications for assembling communities for tallgrass prairie restorations.


1 - Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, United States
2 - University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Biological Sciences, 3209 N. Maryland Avenue, Milwaukee, WI, 53211, USA
3 - Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, USA
4 - The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL, 60532-1293, US
5 - University of Minnesota, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Biology, 1980 Folwell Ave, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA

Keywords:
competition
greenhouse experiment
prairie
restoration.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number:
Abstract ID:211
Candidate for Awards:None


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