Plant Competition and Facilitation in Systems with Strong Environmental Gradients

Kara A. Moore and Sarah C. Elmendorf

in Serpentine

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268357
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948457 | DOI:
Plant Competition and Facilitation in Systems with Strong Environmental Gradients

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This chapter explores how plant interactions and their effects on community organization vary with stress, productivity, and environmental heterogeneity in serpentine ecosystems and along their boundaries with nonserpentine ecosystems, and begins with a brief overview of competition theory. It summarizes common experimental designs that have been employed to test for the effects of competition along gradients and differences in their interpretation. The chapter then reviews special considerations for the study of interactions on serpentine soil, addressing the possibility of chemical amelioration of serpentine stress and the potential effects of environmental heterogeneity. It concludes with an evaluation of the benefits and complexities of serpentine as a model system for studying species interactions and suggestions for future study.

Keywords: plant interactions; community organization; serpentine ecosystems; competition; environmental gradients; serpentine soil; serpentine stress

Chapter.  5365 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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