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Shrub facilitation increases plant diversity along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary in South America

Maarten van Zonneveld UGent, Julio R Gutiérrez and Milena Holmgren (2012) JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE. 23(3). p.541-551
abstract
Aim: Theoretical models predict nurse plant facilitation enhances species richness by ameliorating stressful environmental conditions and expanding distributional ranges of stress-intolerant species into harsh environments. We studied the role of nurse facilitation on the recruitment of perennial plants along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary to test the following predictions: (1) nurse shrub canopy increases seedling abundance and species richness along the rain forest-scrubland boundary; (2) scrubland species are less dependent on facilitative interactions than temperate rain forest species, especially at themoister, upper end of the gradient. Location: Bosque Fray Jorge National Park, north-central Chile, South America (30 39' S -71 40' W). Methods: We examined seedling abundance and species richness of perennial plants in the open and under different types of patches thatmay facilitate species recruitment (living shrubs, dead shrubs, perennial grasses and trees) along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary. To assess whether the potential role of the shrub canopy on seedling survival in the scrubland and forest differs, we designed a 2 9 2 factorial field experiment with shrub canopy (under shrub or open patch) and small mammal herbivory (access or closed) as factors. At both sides of the scrubland-forest gradient, we planted young seedlings of scrubland (Senna cumingii) and forest (Myrceugenia correifolia and Griselinia scandens) species under the four treatment combinations. Results: Nurse living shrubs increased seedling abundance and diversity. Under living shrubs, the number of recruiting species was 100% and 30% larger than in open patches of the arid scrubland and temperate rain forest patches, respectively. Seedling abundance was 60% and 300% larger under living shrubs compared to open patches of the scrubland and the temperate rain forest, respectively. Despite their low cover, dead shrubs were particularly important for recruitment of young seedlings in the scrubland. Seedlings of forest species were extremely rare. The field experiment demonstrated the importance of nurse plant facilitation for the survival of the forest species at both sides of the boundary. In contrast, scrubland species were less dependent on nurse plants than forest and intermediate forest-scrubland species. Conclusions: Our results show that facilitative interactions increase seedling abundance and species richness along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary, notably by enhancing seedling establishment of forest species. Despite increasing nurse shrub-seedling competition in the arid scrubland, shrubs have a net positive effect on plant community diversity.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Species richness, Water stress gradient, Seedling establishment, Positive interactions, Nurse plant, Ecotone, Chile, Arid ecosystem, Abiotic stress, Herbivory, Fog, STRESS-GRADIENT HYPOTHESIS, POSITIVE INTERACTIONS, HERBIVORE PRESSURE, TREE ESTABLISHMENT, ATACAMA DESERT, COASTAL CHILE, NURSE PLANTS, COMMUNITIES, REGENERATION, UNDERNEATH
journal title
JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE
J. Veg. Sci.
volume
23
issue
3
pages
541 - 551
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000303042300013
JCR category
FORESTRY
JCR impact factor
2.818 (2012)
JCR rank
3/60 (2012)
JCR quartile
1 (2012)
ISSN
1100-9233
DOI
10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01379.x
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2098137
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2098137
date created
2012-05-03 13:43:30
date last changed
2012-09-25 14:45:04
@article{2098137,
  abstract     = {Aim: Theoretical models predict nurse plant facilitation enhances species richness by ameliorating stressful environmental conditions and expanding distributional ranges of stress-intolerant species into harsh environments. We studied the role of nurse facilitation on the recruitment of perennial plants along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary to test the following predictions: (1) nurse shrub canopy increases seedling abundance and species richness along the rain forest-scrubland boundary; (2) scrubland species are less dependent on facilitative interactions than temperate rain forest species, especially at themoister, upper end of the gradient.
Location: Bosque Fray Jorge National Park, north-central Chile, South America (30 39' S -71 40' W).
Methods: We examined seedling abundance and species richness of perennial plants in the open and under different types of patches thatmay facilitate species recruitment (living shrubs, dead shrubs, perennial grasses and trees) along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary. To assess whether the potential role of the shrub canopy on seedling survival in the scrubland and forest differs, we designed a 2 9 2 factorial field experiment with shrub canopy (under shrub or open patch) and small mammal herbivory (access or closed) as factors. At both sides of the scrubland-forest gradient, we planted young seedlings of scrubland (Senna cumingii) and forest (Myrceugenia correifolia and Griselinia scandens) species under the four treatment combinations.
Results: Nurse living shrubs increased seedling abundance and diversity. Under living shrubs, the number of recruiting species was 100\% and 30\% larger than in open patches of the arid scrubland and temperate rain forest patches, respectively. Seedling abundance was 60\% and 300\% larger under living shrubs compared to open patches of the scrubland and the temperate rain forest, respectively. Despite their low cover, dead shrubs were particularly important for recruitment of young seedlings in the scrubland. Seedlings of forest species were extremely rare. The field experiment demonstrated the importance of nurse plant facilitation for the survival of the forest species at both sides of the boundary. In contrast, scrubland species were less dependent on nurse plants than forest and intermediate forest-scrubland species.
Conclusions: Our results show that facilitative interactions increase seedling abundance and species richness along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary, notably by enhancing seedling establishment of forest species. Despite increasing nurse shrub-seedling competition in the arid scrubland, shrubs have a net positive effect on plant community diversity.},
  author       = {van Zonneveld, Maarten and Guti{\'e}rrez, Julio R and Holmgren, Milena},
  issn         = {1100-9233},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE},
  keyword      = {Species richness,Water stress gradient,Seedling establishment,Positive interactions,Nurse plant,Ecotone,Chile,Arid ecosystem,Abiotic stress,Herbivory,Fog,STRESS-GRADIENT HYPOTHESIS,POSITIVE INTERACTIONS,HERBIVORE PRESSURE,TREE ESTABLISHMENT,ATACAMA DESERT,COASTAL CHILE,NURSE PLANTS,COMMUNITIES,REGENERATION,UNDERNEATH},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {541--551},
  title        = {Shrub facilitation increases plant diversity along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary in South America},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01379.x},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
van Zonneveld, Maarten, Julio R Gutiérrez, and Milena Holmgren. 2012. “Shrub Facilitation Increases Plant Diversity Along an Arid Scrubland-temperate Rain Forest Boundary in South America.” Journal of Vegetation Science 23 (3): 541–551.
APA
van Zonneveld, M., Gutiérrez, J. R., & Holmgren, M. (2012). Shrub facilitation increases plant diversity along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary in South America. JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE, 23(3), 541–551.
Vancouver
1.
van Zonneveld M, Gutiérrez JR, Holmgren M. Shrub facilitation increases plant diversity along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary in South America. JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE. 2012;23(3):541–51.
MLA
van Zonneveld, Maarten, Julio R Gutiérrez, and Milena Holmgren. “Shrub Facilitation Increases Plant Diversity Along an Arid Scrubland-temperate Rain Forest Boundary in South America.” JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE 23.3 (2012): 541–551. Print.