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Pathogens and mutualists as joint drivers of host species coexistence and turnover: implications for plant competition and succession


Jiang, Jiang; Abbott, Karen C; Baudena, Mara; Eppinga, Maarten B; Umbanhowar, James A; Bever, James (2020). Pathogens and mutualists as joint drivers of host species coexistence and turnover: implications for plant competition and succession. American Naturalist, 195(4):591-602.

Abstract

The potential for either pathogens or mutualists to alter the outcome of interactions between host species has been clearly demonstrated experimentally, but our understanding of their joint influence remains limited. Individually, pathogens and mutualists can each stabilize (via negative feedback) or destabilize (via positive feedback) host-host interactions. When pathogens and mutualist are both present, the potential for simultaneous positive and negative feedbacks can generate a wide range of possible effects on host species coexistence and turnover. Extending existing theoretical frameworks, we explore the range of dynamics generated by simultaneous interactions with pathogens and mutualists and identify the conditions for pathogen or mutualist mediation of host coexistence. We then explore the potential role of microbial mutualists and pathogens in plant species turnover during succession. We show how a combination of positive and negative plant-microbe feedbacks can generate a coexistence state that is part of a set of alternative stable states. This result implies that the outcomes of coexistence from classical plant-soil feedback experiments may be susceptible to disturbances, and that empirical investigations of microbially-mediated coexistence would benefit from consideration of interactive effects of feedbacks generated from different distinct components of the plant microbiome.

Abstract

The potential for either pathogens or mutualists to alter the outcome of interactions between host species has been clearly demonstrated experimentally, but our understanding of their joint influence remains limited. Individually, pathogens and mutualists can each stabilize (via negative feedback) or destabilize (via positive feedback) host-host interactions. When pathogens and mutualist are both present, the potential for simultaneous positive and negative feedbacks can generate a wide range of possible effects on host species coexistence and turnover. Extending existing theoretical frameworks, we explore the range of dynamics generated by simultaneous interactions with pathogens and mutualists and identify the conditions for pathogen or mutualist mediation of host coexistence. We then explore the potential role of microbial mutualists and pathogens in plant species turnover during succession. We show how a combination of positive and negative plant-microbe feedbacks can generate a coexistence state that is part of a set of alternative stable states. This result implies that the outcomes of coexistence from classical plant-soil feedback experiments may be susceptible to disturbances, and that empirical investigations of microbially-mediated coexistence would benefit from consideration of interactive effects of feedbacks generated from different distinct components of the plant microbiome.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 April 2020
Deposited On:09 Jan 2020 10:11
Last Modified:28 Mar 2020 02:04
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0003-0147
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1086/707355

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Content: Accepted Version
Language: English
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Embargo till: 2020-11-01