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Positive plant interactions and the force

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A long time ago in a desert far, far away positive plant interactions have become a pivotal concept in better understanding the dynamics of natural communities. In particular, shrubs in arid and semi-arid regions globally, and certainly within California, provide an anchor for many other species including other plants, animals, and insects. The important and likely diverse functions of shrubs within these ecosystems are relatively unexplored. Positive interactions associated with these foundation species will serve as ‘force’ for restoration and management for years to come provided the needed ecology is studied.

Published in: Environment
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Positive plant interactions and the force

  1. 1. positive ecological interactions the heroes @cjlortie
  2. 2. negative ecological interactions the villains 150 years of competition research
  3. 3. competition or interference interactions in plants (-,0) but most commonly (-,-)
  4. 4. facilitation is the most common term for positive interactions in plants (+,0) most frequent
  5. 5. dominant benefactor species nurse plant
  6. 6. positive mechanisms important = types of facilitation
  7. 7. Abiotic stress amelioration Herbivore protection* Pollinator visitation Substrate modification* Seed trapping* Soil moisture retention*
 Soil nutrient modification*
 Nurse-mediated distribution (meta-mechanism) Nurse-mediated evolution (meta-mechanism)
  8. 8. synthesis
  9. 9. Web of Science 560 studies 298 relevant studies
  10. 10. stress direct
  11. 11. positive interactions are important too
  12. 12. many pathways and many gaps
  13. 13. indirect positive interactions
  14. 14. positive trophic interactions
  15. 15. specificity of nurse-plant effects
  16. 16. nurse-mediated evolution
  17. 17. nurse-mediated distribution
  18. 18. implication: facilitation as a restoration tool
  19. 19. shrubs and other foundation species can serve as ‘the force’ for restoration and management
  20. 20. provided we have the basic ecology to identify how foundation species help
  21. 21. evidence of the force globally He et al. 2013
  22. 22. evidence of the force in California: ranges for local plant species Calflora Sotomayor et al. (2016)
  23. 23. evidence of the force in California: ranges for local plant species (the republic effect) Sotomayor et al. (2016)
  24. 24. evidence of the force in California: shrub loss Liczner,Westphal, Filazzola
  25. 25. evidence of the force in California: shrub loss (obi-wan effect) Liczner,Westphal, Filazzola
  26. 26. evidence of the force in California: shrub loss Liczner,Westphal, Filazzola
  27. 27. evidence of the force in California: seed addition (the droid effect) Filazzola,Westphal
  28. 28. evidence of the force in California: seed addition Filazzola,Westphal
  29. 29. evidence of the force in California: regional differences Liczner,Westphal, Filazzola
  30. 30. evidence of the force in California: regional differences (always a jedi effect?) Liczner,Westphal, Filazzola
  31. 31. evidence of the force in California: animals Noble,Westphal, Saslaw, Germano, Butterfield
  32. 32. evidence of the force in California: animals (jedi mind tricks) Noble,Westphal, Saslaw, Germano, Butterfield
  33. 33. evidence of the force in California: climate mediation in Cuyama Lortie, Filazzola,Westphal, Butterfield
  34. 34. evidence of the force in California: climate mediation in Cuyama (the force surrounds us) Lortie, Filazzola,Westphal, Butterfield
  35. 35. evidence of the force in California: pollinators Ruttan
  36. 36. implication: interactions are on a continuum
  37. 37. implication: must decouple different pathways because global change 
 is unfortunately rapidly doing so
  38. 38. simple tools & integrated, structured research promote better understanding of ecosystem function NCEAS, NSERC, Bureau of Land Management, &The Nature Conservancy

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