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Resource partitioning and interactions enable coexistence in a grass-shrub steppe

Por: Cipriotti, P. A.
Colaborador(es): Aguiar, M. R.
ISSN: 0140-1963.Tipo de material: Artículos y capítulos. Recurso electrónico.Tema(s): BIOTIC INTERACTIONS | COMPETITION | FACILITATION | NEIGHBOURHOOD ANALYSES | NICHE SEPARATION | PATAGONIAN STEPPES | REMOVAL EXPERIMENTS | SPATIAL PATTERN ANALYSES | WALTER HYPOTHESIS | COEXISTENCE | COMMUNITY RESPONSE | DOMINANCE | FUNCTIONAL CHANGE | GRASS | MORPHOLOGY | NICHE PARTITIONING | POPULATION SIZE | REMOVAL EXPERIMENT | SEMIARID REGION | SHRUB | SIZE STRUCTURE | SPATIAL ANALYSIS | STEPPE | PATAGONIA | ADESMIA | ADESMIA VOLCKMANNII | MULINUM | MULINUM SPINOSUM | POACEAE | SENECIO | SENECIO FILAGINOIDES | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR. En: Journal of Arid Environments Vol. 74, no. 10 (2010) 1111-1120Resumen: We revisited a growth-form removal experiment after 12 years with the aim to compare the long-term population responses of three shrub species. Specifically, we were interested to know if the resource partitioning and plant interactions act as complementary mechanisms of the shrub-grass coexistence. In 1983 different plots from grass-shrub Patagonian steppes were submitted to three treatments: control, grass-, and shrub-removal during three consecutive years. In 1997 we studied nine plots from the original experiment and recorded all shrubs to compare shrub density, population size structure, vitality, spatial patterns and neighbourhood interferences of three native and co-dominant shrub species: Mulinum spinosum, Senecio filaginoides, and Adesmia volckmanni. After 12 years of recovery, shrubs as a growth-form group, fully re-established in plots where they were removed and attained 75 percent higher density in grass-removal plots than in control plots. However, long-term population responses of Mulinum, Senecio, and Adesmia to removals were distinctive. On the other hand, negative and positive interferences among shrub species and between shrubs and grasses generated a complex network. Morphological and functional differences in shrub and grass species and their interactions at population level and long-term could be a key to achieve a better comprehension of shrub-grass coexistence from semi-arid ecosystems.
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We revisited a growth-form removal experiment after 12 years with the aim to compare the long-term population responses of three shrub species. Specifically, we were interested to know if the resource partitioning and plant interactions act as complementary mechanisms of the shrub-grass coexistence. In 1983 different plots from grass-shrub Patagonian steppes were submitted to three treatments: control, grass-, and shrub-removal during three consecutive years. In 1997 we studied nine plots from the original experiment and recorded all shrubs to compare shrub density, population size structure, vitality, spatial patterns and neighbourhood interferences of three native and co-dominant shrub species: Mulinum spinosum, Senecio filaginoides, and Adesmia volckmanni. After 12 years of recovery, shrubs as a growth-form group, fully re-established in plots where they were removed and attained 75 percent higher density in grass-removal plots than in control plots. However, long-term population responses of Mulinum, Senecio, and Adesmia to removals were distinctive. On the other hand, negative and positive interferences among shrub species and between shrubs and grasses generated a complex network. Morphological and functional differences in shrub and grass species and their interactions at population level and long-term could be a key to achieve a better comprehension of shrub-grass coexistence from semi-arid ecosystems.

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