Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Trade-off between competition and facilitation defines gap colonization in mountains
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Research Institute for Nature and Forest INBO, Department of Biodiversity and Natural Environment, Kliniekstraat 25, 1070 Brussels, Belgium.
2015 (English)In: AoB Plants, ISSN 2041-2851, E-ISSN 2041-2851, Vol. 7, plv128Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Recent experimental observations show that gap colonization in small-stature (e.g. grassland and dwarf shrubs) vegetation strongly depends on the abiotic conditions within them. At the same time, within-gap variation in biotic interactions such as competition and facilitation, caused by distance to the gap edge, would affect colonizer performance, but a theoretical framework to explore such patterns is missing. Here, we model how competition, facilitation and environmental conditions together determine the small-scale patterns of gap colonization along a cold gradient in mountains, by simulating colonizer survival in gaps of various sizes. Our model adds another dimension to the known effects of biotic interactions along a stress gradient by focussing on the trade-off between competition and facilitation in the within-gap environment. We show that this trade-off defines a peak in colonizer survival at a specific distance from the gap edge, which progressively shifts closer to the edge as the environment gets colder, ultimately leaving a large fraction of gaps unsuitable for colonization in facilitation-dominated systems. This is reinforced when vegetation size and temperature amelioration are manipulated simultaneously with temperature in order to simulate an elevational gradient more realistically. Interestingly, all other conditions being equal, the magnitude of the realized survival peak was always lower in large than in small gaps, making large gaps harder to colonize. The model is relevant to predict effects of non-native plant invasions and climate warming on colonization processes in mountains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 7, plv128
Keyword [en]
Alien plant invasion, cold climates, disturbance, gap invasion, gradients, mountains, plant-plant interactions, stress gradient hypothesis
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120325DOI: 10.1093/aobpla/plv128ISI: 000369028300008OAI: diva2:928691
Available from: 2016-05-16 Created: 2016-05-16 Last updated: 2016-05-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1090 kB)19 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1090 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Milbau, Ann
By organisation
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
In the same journal
AoB Plants
Biological Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 19 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 54 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link