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When and where plant‐soil feedback may promote plant coexistence: a meta‐analysis


Crawford, Kerri M; Bauer, Jonathan T; Comita, Liza S; Eppinga, Maarten B; Johnson, Daniel J; Mangan, Scott A; Queenborough, Simon A; Strand, Allan E; Suding, Katharine N; Umbanhowar, James; Bever, James D (2019). When and where plant‐soil feedback may promote plant coexistence: a meta‐analysis. Ecology Letters, 22:1274-1284.

Abstract

Plant‐soil feedback (PSF) theory provides a powerful framework for understanding plant dynamics by integrating growth assays into predictions of whether soil communities stabilise plant–plant interactions. However, we lack a comprehensive view of the likelihood of feedback‐driven coexistence, partly because of a failure to analyse pairwise PSF, the metric directly linked to plant species coexistence. Here, we determine the relative importance of plant evolutionary history, traits, and environmental factors for coexistence through PSF using a meta‐analysis of 1038 pairwise PSF measures. Consistent with eco‐evolutionary predictions, feedback is more likely to mediate coexistence for pairs of plant species (1) associating with similar guilds of mycorrhizal fungi, (2) of increasing phylogenetic distance, and (3) interacting with native microbes. We also found evidence for a primary role of pathogens in feedback‐mediated coexistence. By combining results over several independent studies, our results confirm that PSF may play a key role in plant species coexistence, species invasion, and the phylogenetic diversification of plant communities.

Abstract

Plant‐soil feedback (PSF) theory provides a powerful framework for understanding plant dynamics by integrating growth assays into predictions of whether soil communities stabilise plant–plant interactions. However, we lack a comprehensive view of the likelihood of feedback‐driven coexistence, partly because of a failure to analyse pairwise PSF, the metric directly linked to plant species coexistence. Here, we determine the relative importance of plant evolutionary history, traits, and environmental factors for coexistence through PSF using a meta‐analysis of 1038 pairwise PSF measures. Consistent with eco‐evolutionary predictions, feedback is more likely to mediate coexistence for pairs of plant species (1) associating with similar guilds of mycorrhizal fungi, (2) of increasing phylogenetic distance, and (3) interacting with native microbes. We also found evidence for a primary role of pathogens in feedback‐mediated coexistence. By combining results over several independent studies, our results confirm that PSF may play a key role in plant species coexistence, species invasion, and the phylogenetic diversification of plant communities.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:31 May 2019
Deposited On:08 Jan 2020 15:32
Last Modified:08 Jan 2020 15:33
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1461-023X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13278

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