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Differences in light interception in grass monocultures predict short-term competitive outcomes under productive conditions


Vojtech, E; Turnbull, L A; Hector, A (2007). Differences in light interception in grass monocultures predict short-term competitive outcomes under productive conditions. PLoS ONE, 2(6):e449.

Abstract

Due to its inherent asymmetry, competition for light is thought to cause loss of diversity from eutrophied systems. However, most of the work on this topic in grasslands has been phenomenological and has not measured light directly. We present the results of one of the few mechanistic experiments investigating the outcome of short-term competition using measurements of light interception from monocultures of five perennial grass species grown under fertilized and irrigated conditions. We found that the level of incident light intercepted by each species in monoculture, a direct measure of resource-reduction ability, was an excellent predictor of the relative competitive effect in pairwise mixtures. Competition for light was asymmetric in relation to differences in light intercepting ability. Our results are consistent with the idea that when light is a limiting resource, competition between species for this resource can be asymmetric, contributing to high dominance and low diversity.

Due to its inherent asymmetry, competition for light is thought to cause loss of diversity from eutrophied systems. However, most of the work on this topic in grasslands has been phenomenological and has not measured light directly. We present the results of one of the few mechanistic experiments investigating the outcome of short-term competition using measurements of light interception from monocultures of five perennial grass species grown under fertilized and irrigated conditions. We found that the level of incident light intercepted by each species in monoculture, a direct measure of resource-reduction ability, was an excellent predictor of the relative competitive effect in pairwise mixtures. Competition for light was asymmetric in relation to differences in light intercepting ability. Our results are consistent with the idea that when light is a limiting resource, competition between species for this resource can be asymmetric, contributing to high dominance and low diversity.

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22 citations in Web of Science®
24 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:27
Last Modified:09 Aug 2016 10:44
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0000499
PubMed ID:17565366
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2058

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