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Pattern and process : competition causes regular spacing of individuals within plant populations

Stoll, P. and Bergius, E.. (2005) Pattern and process : competition causes regular spacing of individuals within plant populations. The Journal of Ecology, Vol. 93. pp. 395-403.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5250244

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Abstract

1 We used simulated and experimental plant populations to analyse mortality-driven pattern formation under size-dependent competition. Larger plants had an advantage under size-asymmetric but not under symmetric competition. Initial patterns were random or clumped. 2 The simulations were individual-based and spatially explicit. Size-dependent competition was modelled with different rules to partition overlapping zones of influence. 3 The experiment used genotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana with different morphological plasticity and hence size-dependent competition. Compared with wild types, transgenic individuals over-expressed phytochrome A and had decreased plasticity because of disabled phytochrome-mediated shade avoidance. Therefore, competition among transgenics was more asymmetric compared with wild-types. 4 Density-dependent mortality under symmetric competition did not substantially change the initial spatial pattern. Conversely, simulations under asymmetric competition and experimental patterns of transgenic over-expressors showed patterns of survivors that deviated substantially from random mortality independent of initial patterns. 5 Small-scale initial patterns of wild types were regular rather than random or clumped. We hypothesize that this small-scale regularity may be explained by early shade avoidance of seedlings in their cotyledon stage. 6 Our experimental results support predictions from an individual-based simulation model and support the conclusion that regular spatial patterns of surviving individuals should be interpreted as evidence for strong, asymmetric competitive interactions and subsequent density-dependent mortality.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Natur- Landschafts- und Umweltschutz > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Stoll, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:University Press
ISSN:0022-0477
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:04

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