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Species-specific interference exerted by the shrub Cistus clusii Dunal in a semi-arid Mediterranean gypsum plant community

AutorForonda, Ana; Ehlers, Bodil K.; Alados, Concepción L. ; Pueyo, Yolanda
Fecha de publicación29-nov-2018
EditorBioMed Central
CitaciónBMC Ecology 18(1): 49 (2018)
Resumen[Background]: The gypsovag shrub Cistus clusii is locally dominant in semi-arid gypsum plant communities of North-Eastern Spain. This species commonly grows in species-poor patches even though it has nurse potential, suggesting interference on neighbouring species. Other Cistus species exert a chemically mediated interference on plant communities, suggesting that it might be a common phenomenon in this genus. This study aimed investigating whether C. clusii exerts chemically mediated interference on neighbouring species in gypsum plant communities. We tested in a greenhouse whether aqueous extracts from C. clusii leaves (L), roots (R) and a mixture of both (RL) affected germination, seedling survival, and growth of nine native species of gypsum communities, including C. clusii itself. We further assessed in the field richness and abundance of plants under the canopy of C. clusii compared to Gypsophila struthium (shrub with a similar architecture having a nurse role) and in open patches. Finally, we specifically assessed in the field the influence of C. clusii on the presence of the species tested in the greenhouse experiment.
[Results]: Aqueous extracts from C. clusii (R and RL) negatively affected either germination or survival in four of nine species. In the field, richness and abundance of plants were lower under the canopy of C. clusii than under G. struthium, but higher than in open patches. Specifically, five of nine species were less frequent than expected under the canopy of C. clusii.
[Conclusions]: Cistus clusii shows species-specific interference with neighbouring species in the community, which may be at least partially attributable to its phytotoxic activity. To our knowledge, this is the first report of species-specific interference by C. clusii.
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.1186/s12898-018-0204-x
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/172873
DOI10.1186/s12898-018-0204-x
E-ISSN1472-6785
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