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High species turnover and low intraspecific trait variation in endemic and non‐endemic plant species assemblages on an oceanic island

Title data

Hanz, Dagmar M. ; Beloiu, Mirela ; Wipfler, Raja ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl ; Field, Richard ; Jentsch, Anke ; Vetaas, Ole Reidar ; Irl, Severin D. H.:
High species turnover and low intraspecific trait variation in endemic and non‐endemic plant species assemblages on an oceanic island.
In: Journal of Vegetation Science. Vol. 33 (2022) Issue 1 . - No. e13120.
ISSN 1100-9233
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.13120

Abstract in another language

Questions:
Both species turnover and intraspecific trait variation can affect plant assemblage dynamics along environmental gradients. Here, we asked how community assemblage patterns in relation to species turnover and intraspecific variation differ between endemic and non-endemic species. We hypothesized that endemic species show lower intraspecific variation than non-endemic species because they tend to have high rates of in situ speciation whereas non-endemic species are expected to have a larger gene pool and higher phenotypic plasticity.
Location:
La Palma, Canary Islands
Methods:
We established 44 sampling sites along a directional gradient of precipitation, heat load, soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and pH. Along this gradient, we estimated species abundances and measured three traits (plant height, leaf area, and leaf thickness) on perennial endemic and non-endemic plant species. In total, we recorded traits for 1,223 plant individuals out of 43 species. Subsequently, we calculated community-weighted mean traits to measure the relative contribution of species turnover, intraspecific variation and their covariation along the analysed gradient.
Results:
The contribution of intraspecific variation to total variation was similar in endemic and non-endemic assemblages. For plant height, intraspecific variation explained roughly as much variation as species turnover. For leaf area and leaf thickness, intraspecific variation explained almost no variation. Species turnover effects mainly drove trait responses along the environmental gradient, but intraspecific variation was important for responses in leaf area to precipitation.
Conclusion:
Despite their distinct evolutionary history, endemic and non-endemic plant assemblages show similar patterns in species turnover and intraspecific variation. Our results indicate that species turnover is the main component of trait variation in the underlying study system. However, intraspecific variation can increase individual species’ fitness in response to precipitation. Overall, our study challenges the theory that intraspecific trait variation is more important for the establishment of non-endemic species compared to endemic species.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography > Chair Biogeography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Disturbance Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Disturbance Ecology > Professor Disturbance Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Anke Jentsch
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2022 06:51
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 12:44
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/68696