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Effects of resource transport and supply rates on competition and coexistence

Titel Englisch Effects of resource transport and supply rates on competition and coexistence
Gesuchsteller/in Olde Venterink Harry
Nummer 112452
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Institut für Integrative Biologie Departement Umweltwissenschaften ETHZ
Hochschule ETH Zürich - ETHZ
Hauptdisziplin Oekologie
Beginn/Ende 01.02.2007 - 31.05.2010
Bewilligter Betrag 172'909.00
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Keywords (6)

competition; nutrients; resource-use; coexistence; mobility; plants

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lay summary
Explaning the coexistence of many plant species in a given area is a central topic in plant ecology. The ultimate goal of the proposed project is a better understanding of this coexistence. Specifically, we would investigate a factor that very probable influences the coexistence of plant species and has not been tested experimentally so far: the resource transport and supply rates. It has been shown with computer simulations that this factor influences coexistence, but it has - to our knowledge - not been tested experimentally so far. Basically, it is expected that low resource transport rates combined with high resource input rates have a positive effect on coexistence between different plant species. This is because under those circumstances a given individual of one species can not lower the resource level around an individual of an other species below the level where that can survive. In our proposed study we will highlight these effects by experiments ranging from strongly reductionistic to more complex conditions. We will mainly focus on nutrients as a resource. Our overall hypothesis is: High transport coefficients of nutrients and low resource input fluxes can lead to competitive exclusion of plant species and thus to reduced local diversity. Besides its scientific significance, this topic has gained more and more interest from an applied perspective in recent years as biodiversity might be threatened by invasive species, elevated CO2, warming, nitrogen deposition, changing precipitation patterns, and other global change factors. A better understanding of mechanisms enabling plants to coexist is a prerequisite to predicting the influence of anticipated changes and for setting priorities for appropriate counteractions.
Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.02.2013

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