Competition and resource availability in an annual plant community dominated by an invasive species, Carrichtera annua (L. Aschers.), in South Australia

Harris, MR and Facelli, JM (2003) Competition and resource availability in an annual plant community dominated by an invasive species, Carrichtera annua (L. Aschers.), in South Australia. Plant Ecology, 167 1: 19-29. doi:10.1023/A:1023981500007


Author Harris, MR
Facelli, JM
Title Competition and resource availability in an annual plant community dominated by an invasive species, Carrichtera annua (L. Aschers.), in South Australia
Journal name Plant Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1385-0237
Publication date 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1023/A:1023981500007
Volume 167
Issue 1
Start page 19
End page 29
Total pages 11
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publications
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subject C1
270703 Terrestrial Ecology
779903 Living resources (flora and fauna)
Abstract The last decade has seen spirited debates about how resource availability affect the intensity of competition. This paper examines the effect that a dominant introduced species, Carrichtera annua, has upon the winter annual community in the arid chenopod shrublands of South Australia. Manipulative field experiments were conducted to assess plant community response to changing below-ground resource levels and to the manipulation of the density of C. annua. Changes in the density of C. annua had little effect on the abundance of all other species in the guild. Nutrient addition produced an increase in the biomass of the most abundant native species, Crassula colorata. An analysis of the root distribution of the main species suggested that the areas of soil resource capture of C. annua and C. colorata are largely segregated. Our results suggest that intraspecific competition may be stronger than interspecific competition, controlling the species responses to increased resource availability. The results are consistent with a two-phase resource dynamics systems, with pulses of high resource availability triggering growth, followed by pulses of stress. Smaller plants were nutrient limited under natural field conditions, suggesting that stress experienced during long interpulse phases may override competitive effects after short pulse phases. The observed differences in root system structure will determine when plants of a different species are experiencing a pulse or an interpulse phase. We suggest that the limitations to plant recruitment and growth are the product of a complex interplay between the length and intensity of the pulse of resource availability, the duration and severity of the interpulse periods, and biological characters of the species.
Keyword Plant Sciences
Ecology
Forestry
Arid Lands
Competition
Niche Partition
Nutrients
Resource Pulses
Interspecific Competition
Herbaceous Vegetation
Quercus-agrifolia
Grassland
Desert
Facilitation
California
Woodlands
Diversity
Dynamics
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2004 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 19:05:52 EST