Vol 9: Species-Specific Responses to Community Density in an Unproductive Perennial Plant Community.Report as inadecuate



 Vol 9: Species-Specific Responses to Community Density in an Unproductive Perennial Plant Community.


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This article is from PLoS ONE, volume 9.AbstractMost studies of density dependent regulation in plants consider a single target species, but regulation may also occur at the level of the entire community. Knowing whether a community is at carrying capacity is essential for understanding its behaviour because low density plant communities may behave quite differently than their high density counterparts. Also, because the intensity of density dependence may differ considerably between species and physical environments, generalizations about its effects on community structure requires comparisons under a range of conditions. We tested if: 1 density dependent regulation occurs at the level of an entire plant community as well as within individual species; 2 the intensity effect of increasing community density on mean plant mass and importance the effect of increasing density, relative to other factors, on mean plant mass of competition increases, decreases or remains unchanged with increasing fertilization; 3 there are species-specific responses to changes in community density and productivity. In 63 1 m2 plots, we manipulated the abundance of the nine most common species by transplanting or removing them to create a series of Initial Community Densities above and below the average natural field density, such that the relative proportion of species was consistent for all densities. Plots were randomly assigned to one of three fertilizer levels. At the community level, negative density dependence of mean plant size was observed for each of the 4 years of the study and both the intensity and importance of competition increased each year. At the species level, most species mean plant mass were negatively density dependent. Fertilizer had a significant effect only in the final year when it had a negative effect on mean plant mass. Our data demonstrate a yield-density response at the entire community-level using perennial plant species in a multi-year experiment.



Author: Treberg, Michael A.; Turkington, Roy

Source: https://archive.org/







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