COMPETITIVE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN TREE SPECIES IN NEW ZEALAND'S OLD-GROWTH INDIGENOUS FORESTS

COMPETITIVE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN TREE SPECIES IN NEW ZEALAND'S OLD-GROWTH INDIGENOUS FORESTS New Zealand's four broad-leaved evergreen tree species from the genus Nothofagus all show pronounced distributional disjunctions, independent of environmental factors known to influence tree distributions. Here, we use these disjunctions as the basis for a natural removal experiment to investigate competitive interactions between Nothofagus and a range of other widespread conifer and broad-leaved tree species. We first model the abundance of non- Nothofagus species as a function of environment, using Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) and an extensive data set sampling much of New Zealand's remaining old-growth forests. We then assess the effects of competitive interaction with Nothofagus by adding statistical terms describing (1) Nothofagus abundance, and (2) interactions between Nothofagus abundance and annual temperature, the dominant environmental gradient. Results indicate substantial reductions in the abundance of many species as Nothofagus abundance increases. The magnitude of this reduction varies with position along the dominant environmental gradient; species overlapping most strongly with Nothofagus are generally most sensitive to increases in Nothofagus abundance. In addition, both the shapes of species responses to mean annual temperature and the positions of their optima change as Nothofagus abundance increases. This demonstration of competition using community compositional data has implications both for vegetation theory and for prediction of the likely impacts of global warming on New Zealand's forest pattern. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Ecological Society of America

COMPETITIVE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN TREE SPECIES IN NEW ZEALAND'S OLD-GROWTH INDIGENOUS FORESTS

Ecology, Volume 82 (9) – Sep 1, 2001

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Publisher
Ecological Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by the Ecological Society of America
Subject
Articles
ISSN
0012-9658
DOI
10.1890/0012-9658%282001%29082%5B2560:CIBTSI%5D2.0.CO%3B2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

New Zealand's four broad-leaved evergreen tree species from the genus Nothofagus all show pronounced distributional disjunctions, independent of environmental factors known to influence tree distributions. Here, we use these disjunctions as the basis for a natural removal experiment to investigate competitive interactions between Nothofagus and a range of other widespread conifer and broad-leaved tree species. We first model the abundance of non- Nothofagus species as a function of environment, using Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) and an extensive data set sampling much of New Zealand's remaining old-growth forests. We then assess the effects of competitive interaction with Nothofagus by adding statistical terms describing (1) Nothofagus abundance, and (2) interactions between Nothofagus abundance and annual temperature, the dominant environmental gradient. Results indicate substantial reductions in the abundance of many species as Nothofagus abundance increases. The magnitude of this reduction varies with position along the dominant environmental gradient; species overlapping most strongly with Nothofagus are generally most sensitive to increases in Nothofagus abundance. In addition, both the shapes of species responses to mean annual temperature and the positions of their optima change as Nothofagus abundance increases. This demonstration of competition using community compositional data has implications both for vegetation theory and for prediction of the likely impacts of global warming on New Zealand's forest pattern.

Journal

EcologyEcological Society of America

Published: Sep 1, 2001

Keywords: broad-leaved evergreen ; climate variables ; conifer ; GAM regression ; generalized additive model ; interspecific competition ; landform ; New Zealand ; Nothofagus ; old-growth forest ; removal experiment ; temperature gradient

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