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Evolutionary Ecology of Plant Facilitation

AutorVerdú, Miguel
Fecha de publicaciónabr-2010
EditorEcological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Citación24th Annual Conference of the Plant Population Biology (2011)
ResumenPlant facilitation is a positive ecological interaction that has been important in preserving biodiversity over evolutionary time, with recent lineages conserving the regeneration niches of older, distant lineages. The outcome of this interaction occurring between distantly related species is that communities assembled by facilitation are characterized by high values of phylogenetic diversity. Interestingly, although facilitation turns into competition with increasing taxa relatedness, many facilitative interactions remain between adult plants indicating that facilitation can be considered an ecological assembly rule. Thus, through the study of phylogenetic signatures left by facilitation and competition we can distinguish b etween different community dynamics like directional succession and cyclical replacement sequence. However, to fully understand how plant facilitation preserves biodiversity in complex ecological communities, it is necessary to move from the study of pairwise interactions to the network approach. Facilitation networks have similar structure as mutualistic networks and contain different phylogenetic signals depending on the relative importance of facilitation and competition. Experimental work supports that the phylogenetic relationships among co-occurring species in multispecific assemblages can predict both individual performance and species coexistence. The use of phylogenetic methods combined with complex network approaches opens the possibility to unders tand the complexity of ecological interactions occurring in nature as for example those occurring when biological invasions take place or those producing coextinction cascades following species removal from ecosystems.
DescripciónPonencia presentada en la 24th Annual Conference of the Plant Population Biology celebrada en Oxford del 2 al 4 de junio de 2011
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/95144
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