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Título

Changes in rainfall amount and frequency do not affect the outcome of the interaction between the shrub Retama sphaerocarpa and its neighbouring grasses in two semiarid communities

Autor Soliveres, S.; García-Palacios, P.; Maestre, F. T.; Escudero, Adrián; Valladares Ros, Fernando
Palabras clave Stipa tenacissima L.
Shrub encroachment
Roadside slope
Pulse-driven ecosystems
Competition
Fecha de publicación 29-ene-2013
EditorAcademic Press
Elsevier
Citación Journal of Arid Environments 91: 104-112 (2013)
ResumenWe evaluated the net outcome of the interaction between the shrub Retama sphaerocarpa, our target plant, and different herbaceous neighbours in response to changes in the magnitude and frequency of rainfall events during three years. The experiment was conducted in natural and anthropogenic grasslands dominated by a perennial stress-tolerator and ruderal annual species, respectively. In spite of the neutral or positive effects of neighbours on water availability, neighbouring plants reduced the performance of Retama juveniles, suggesting competition for resources other than water. The negative effects of grasses on the photochemical efficiency of Retama juveniles decreased with higher water availabilities or heavier irrigation pulses, depending on the grassland studied; however, these effects did not extent to the survival and growth of Retama juveniles. Our findings show the prevalence of competitive interactions among the studied plants, regardless of the water availability and its temporal pattern. These results suggest that positive interactions may not prevail under harsher conditions when shade-intolerant species are involved. This study could be used to further refine our predictions of how plant-plant interactions will respond to changes in rainfall, either natural or increased by the ongoing climatic change, in ecosystems where grass-shrubs interactions are prevalent. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/125752
DOI10.1016/j.jaridenv.2012.12.011
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2012.12.011
issn: 0140-1963
e-issn: 1095-922X
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