Functional equivalence, competitive hierarchy and facilitation determine species coexistence in highly invaded grasslands

Nicolas Gross, Pierre Liancourt, Robyn Butters, Richard DUNCAN, Philip Hulme

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Alien and native plant species often differ in functional traits. Trait differences could lead to niche differences that minimize competitive interactions and stabilize coexistence. However, trait differences could also translate into average fitness differences, leading to a competitive hierarchy that prevents coexistence. We tested whether trait differences between alien and native species translated into average fitness or stabilizing niche differences, and whether competition could explain observed coexistence within invaded grassland communities (New Zealand). Trait differences reflected marked competitive hierarchy, suggesting average fitness differences. Species coexistence was determined by a trade-off between species susceptibility to herbivory vs competitive hierarchy and facilitation. Importantly, although aliens and natives differed in their trait values, they did not differ in their competitive response, highlighting the importance of equalizing mechanisms in structuring invaded communities. Only a few alien species with a particular set of traits were able to jeopardize species coexistence when grazing was ceased. Our study explains why some alien species coexist with natives, whereas others have strong impacts on native communities. It highlights that trait differences can underlie several coexistence processes and that the demonstration of trait differences between aliens and natives is only a first step to understanding the role of biotic interactions in structuring invaded communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-186
    Number of pages12
    JournalNew Phytologist
    Volume206
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    grasslands
    Population Groups
    niches
    indigenous species
    herbivores
    grazing
    Herbivory
    New Zealand
    Grassland

    Cite this

    Gross, Nicolas ; Liancourt, Pierre ; Butters, Robyn ; DUNCAN, Richard ; Hulme, Philip. / Functional equivalence, competitive hierarchy and facilitation determine species coexistence in highly invaded grasslands. In: New Phytologist. 2015 ; Vol. 206, No. 1. pp. 175-186.
    @article{1c0540bb14054ce2a46659c5f92d8c77,
    title = "Functional equivalence, competitive hierarchy and facilitation determine species coexistence in highly invaded grasslands",
    abstract = "Alien and native plant species often differ in functional traits. Trait differences could lead to niche differences that minimize competitive interactions and stabilize coexistence. However, trait differences could also translate into average fitness differences, leading to a competitive hierarchy that prevents coexistence. We tested whether trait differences between alien and native species translated into average fitness or stabilizing niche differences, and whether competition could explain observed coexistence within invaded grassland communities (New Zealand). Trait differences reflected marked competitive hierarchy, suggesting average fitness differences. Species coexistence was determined by a trade-off between species susceptibility to herbivory vs competitive hierarchy and facilitation. Importantly, although aliens and natives differed in their trait values, they did not differ in their competitive response, highlighting the importance of equalizing mechanisms in structuring invaded communities. Only a few alien species with a particular set of traits were able to jeopardize species coexistence when grazing was ceased. Our study explains why some alien species coexist with natives, whereas others have strong impacts on native communities. It highlights that trait differences can underlie several coexistence processes and that the demonstration of trait differences between aliens and natives is only a first step to understanding the role of biotic interactions in structuring invaded communities.",
    author = "Nicolas Gross and Pierre Liancourt and Robyn Butters and Richard DUNCAN and Philip Hulme",
    year = "2015",
    doi = "10.1111/nph.13168",
    language = "English",
    volume = "206",
    pages = "175--186",
    journal = "New Phytologist",
    issn = "0028-646X",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "1",

    }

    Functional equivalence, competitive hierarchy and facilitation determine species coexistence in highly invaded grasslands. / Gross, Nicolas; Liancourt, Pierre; Butters, Robyn; DUNCAN, Richard; Hulme, Philip.

    In: New Phytologist, Vol. 206, No. 1, 2015, p. 175-186.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Functional equivalence, competitive hierarchy and facilitation determine species coexistence in highly invaded grasslands

    AU - Gross, Nicolas

    AU - Liancourt, Pierre

    AU - Butters, Robyn

    AU - DUNCAN, Richard

    AU - Hulme, Philip

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - Alien and native plant species often differ in functional traits. Trait differences could lead to niche differences that minimize competitive interactions and stabilize coexistence. However, trait differences could also translate into average fitness differences, leading to a competitive hierarchy that prevents coexistence. We tested whether trait differences between alien and native species translated into average fitness or stabilizing niche differences, and whether competition could explain observed coexistence within invaded grassland communities (New Zealand). Trait differences reflected marked competitive hierarchy, suggesting average fitness differences. Species coexistence was determined by a trade-off between species susceptibility to herbivory vs competitive hierarchy and facilitation. Importantly, although aliens and natives differed in their trait values, they did not differ in their competitive response, highlighting the importance of equalizing mechanisms in structuring invaded communities. Only a few alien species with a particular set of traits were able to jeopardize species coexistence when grazing was ceased. Our study explains why some alien species coexist with natives, whereas others have strong impacts on native communities. It highlights that trait differences can underlie several coexistence processes and that the demonstration of trait differences between aliens and natives is only a first step to understanding the role of biotic interactions in structuring invaded communities.

    AB - Alien and native plant species often differ in functional traits. Trait differences could lead to niche differences that minimize competitive interactions and stabilize coexistence. However, trait differences could also translate into average fitness differences, leading to a competitive hierarchy that prevents coexistence. We tested whether trait differences between alien and native species translated into average fitness or stabilizing niche differences, and whether competition could explain observed coexistence within invaded grassland communities (New Zealand). Trait differences reflected marked competitive hierarchy, suggesting average fitness differences. Species coexistence was determined by a trade-off between species susceptibility to herbivory vs competitive hierarchy and facilitation. Importantly, although aliens and natives differed in their trait values, they did not differ in their competitive response, highlighting the importance of equalizing mechanisms in structuring invaded communities. Only a few alien species with a particular set of traits were able to jeopardize species coexistence when grazing was ceased. Our study explains why some alien species coexist with natives, whereas others have strong impacts on native communities. It highlights that trait differences can underlie several coexistence processes and that the demonstration of trait differences between aliens and natives is only a first step to understanding the role of biotic interactions in structuring invaded communities.

    U2 - 10.1111/nph.13168

    DO - 10.1111/nph.13168

    M3 - Article

    VL - 206

    SP - 175

    EP - 186

    JO - New Phytologist

    JF - New Phytologist

    SN - 0028-646X

    IS - 1

    ER -