Determinants of local plant abundance: relative importance of fitness and stabilizing niche differences

Name: Determinants of local plant abundance: relative importance of fitness and stabilizing niche differences
Researchers: Dostál Petr (researcher)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2015
Realization to: 2017
Summary: Coexistence theory views plant species abundance patterns as a result of species fitness differences (e.g., differences in competitive ability or fecundity) and of stabilizing processes. Species with higher fitness should dominate at the expense of species with lower fitness that should be locally rare or even competitively displaced. However, stabilizing processes, i.e. processes that decrease growth rate with increasing species relative abundance, maintain coexistence of species with different fitness. In this project we want to assess the relative importance of differences among species in their fitness and stabilization for their local abundance patterns. By including 32 species in a common garden experiment, we want to test whether species with higher fitness are on average more abundant. We also want to test whether large variation in local abundance of species with higher fitness is due to strong negative intraspecific interactions. Species locally dominant but with low variation in abundance are expected to display weaker intraspecific interactions.

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