Intra-generic competition among Nothofagus in New Zealand's primary indigenous forests

Intra-generic competition among Nothofagus in New Zealand's primary indigenous forests Competitive interactions between New Zealand's four Nothofagus or southern beech species were analysed using an extensive dataset describing the composition of natural forests, supplemented by environmental estimates describing both climate and landform. Using multiple regression models of progressively increasing complexity, the analysis first accounted for variation in tree abundance attributable to both environment and regional-scale distributional disjunctions of likely historic origin. Intra-generic competition, expressed as variation in tree abundance dependent on the presence or absence of each congener, was then assessed by adding (1) simple terms to assess the magnitude of gross changes in abundance, and (2) interaction terms to assess variation in abundance along the dominant temperature gradient given different competitive contexts. Results indicate the presence of substantial intra-generic interactions, with simple interaction terms giving marginal increases in explained deviance equal to that explained by initial regressions using environment alone. Addition of interaction terms brought about smaller improvements in model fit, but confirm that variation in abundance along the dominant annual temperature gradient is strongly influenced by the competitive context provided by the remaining congeners. Such results are consistent with current understanding of the niche concept, and underline the difficulty inherent in using current species limits to predict likely changes in species distributions consequent on global warming. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biodiversity and Conservation Springer Journals

Intra-generic competition among Nothofagus in New Zealand's primary indigenous forests

Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 11 (12) – Oct 11, 2004

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Life Sciences; Evolutionary Biology; Tree Biology; Plant Sciences
ISSN
0960-3115
eISSN
1572-9710
DOI
10.1023/A:1021394628607
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Competitive interactions between New Zealand's four Nothofagus or southern beech species were analysed using an extensive dataset describing the composition of natural forests, supplemented by environmental estimates describing both climate and landform. Using multiple regression models of progressively increasing complexity, the analysis first accounted for variation in tree abundance attributable to both environment and regional-scale distributional disjunctions of likely historic origin. Intra-generic competition, expressed as variation in tree abundance dependent on the presence or absence of each congener, was then assessed by adding (1) simple terms to assess the magnitude of gross changes in abundance, and (2) interaction terms to assess variation in abundance along the dominant temperature gradient given different competitive contexts. Results indicate the presence of substantial intra-generic interactions, with simple interaction terms giving marginal increases in explained deviance equal to that explained by initial regressions using environment alone. Addition of interaction terms brought about smaller improvements in model fit, but confirm that variation in abundance along the dominant annual temperature gradient is strongly influenced by the competitive context provided by the remaining congeners. Such results are consistent with current understanding of the niche concept, and underline the difficulty inherent in using current species limits to predict likely changes in species distributions consequent on global warming.

Journal

Biodiversity and ConservationSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 11, 2004

References

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