Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:

Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Maintenance: Tuesday, 5.7.2016, 07:00-08:00

Maintenance work on ZORA and JDB on Tuesday, 5th July, 07h00-08h00. During this time there will be a brief unavailability for about 1 hour. Please be patient.

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-42537

Araya, Y N; Silvertown, J; Gowing, D J; McConway, K J; Linder, H P; Midgley, G (2011). A fundamental, eco-hydrological basis for niche segregation in plant communities. The New Phytologist, 189(1):253-258.

[img] PDF (Verlags-PDF) - Registered users only
View at publisher


Ecologists still puzzle over how plant species manage to coexist with one another while competing for the same essential resources. The classic answer for animal communities is that species occupy different niches, but how plants do this is more difficult to determine. We previously found niche segregation along fine-scale hydrological gradients in European wet meadows and proposed that the mechanism might be a general one, especially in communities that experience seasonal saturation. • We quantified the hydrological niches of 96 species from eight fynbos communities in the biodiversity hotspot of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa and 99 species from 18 lowland wet meadow communities in the UK. Niche overlap was computed for all combinations of species. • Despite the extreme functional and phylogenetic differences between the fynbos and wet meadow communities, an identical trade-off (i.e. specialization of species towards tolerance of aeration and/or drying stress) was found to cause segregation along fine-scale hydrological gradients. • This study not only confirms the predicted generality of hydrological niche segregation, but also emphasizes its importance for structuring plant communities. Eco-hydrological niche segregation will have implications for conservation in habitats that face changing hydrology caused by water abstraction and climate change.


55 citations in Web of Science®
65 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™



1 download since deposited on 24 Jan 2011
0 downloads since 12 months

Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Systematic Botany and Botanical Gardens
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Deposited On:24 Jan 2011 20:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:36
Additional Information:Comment in: New Phytol. 2011 Jan;189(1):5-8.
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03475.x
PubMed ID:20868394

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page