Intraspecific aggregation and soil heterogeneity: competitive interactions of two clonal plants with contrasting spatial architecture

W. Xue, L. Huang, F.-H. Yu (Co-auteur), T.M. Bezemer

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review

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Background and aims
Intraspecific aggregation of plant individuals can promote species coexistence by delaying competitive exclusions. However, such impacts may differ among species with contrasting spatial architecture and rely on the spatial distribution of resources.

Methods
We grew a phalanx clonal plant Carex neurocarpa (with aggregated ramets) and a guerilla one Bolboschoenus planiculmis (with diffused ramets) in monocultures or in 1:1 mixtures with an even or a clustered distribution pattern of the two species in homogeneous or heterogeneous soils.

Results
After 16 months, shoot biomass and ramet number were greater in mixtures than in monocultures in C. neurocarpa, but smaller in B. planiculmis. However, the growth of neither C. neurocarpa nor B. planiculmis differed between even and clustered mixtures. Soil nutrient heterogeneity did not significantly affect the growth of either species, but increased relative yield of B. planiculmis and decreased that of C. neurocarpa.

Conclusions
The relative importance of intra- vs. interspecific competition depends on the spatial architecture of plants, and soil nutrient heterogeneity slows down competitive exclusion by decreasing differences in competitive ability between plants. However, our results do not support the idea that intraspecific aggregation of individuals alters competitive interactions between species.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)231-240
TijdschriftPlant and Soil
Volume425
Nummer van het tijdschrift1-2
Vroegere onlinedatum07 feb 2018
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 2018

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