Facilitation and Competition in Alpine Plant Communities

Kikvidze, Zaal Facilitation and Competition in Alpine Plant Communities. Global Environmental Research.

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Abstract

Alpine plant communities are very suitable for ecological experiments that study plant-plant interactions. Actually, in mountains we find magnitude of environmental gradients and well­ pronounced spatial patterns with strong shifts between competition and facilitation. These advantages were especially useful for the experimental testing of the abiotic stress hypothesis, which states that in a plant community neighboring individuals may have both competitive and facilitative effects on each other, and that the relative importance of facilitation increases with the harshness of the environment. The experimental data obtained from alpine gradients support well this hypothesis, and indicate to a probable balance of competition and facilitation in most plant communities that are moderately stressful. The goal for further experiments may be disclosing the mechanisms of this balance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Ecology
Divisions: Institutes > 4D Research Institute
Depositing User: Prof. Zaal Kikvidze
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2014 19:22
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2014 19:22
URI: http://eprints.iliauni.edu.ge/id/eprint/469

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