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Mating system, reproduction mode and diaspore size affect metacommunity diversity
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany. (Ecology of mire plants and bryophytes)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany. (Ecology of mire plants and bryophytes)
2009 (English)In: Journal of Ecology, ISSN 0022-0477, E-ISSN 1365-2745, Vol. 97, no 1, 176-185 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. Metapopulation persistence and metacommunity diversity in patchy dynamic landscapes critically depend on efficient dispersal. Dispersal strategies could involve trade-offs that result in different species responses to habitat fragmentation, alteration in habitat quality and changes in landscape dynamics. 2. We studied spatial structuring in species richness of obligate epiphytic bryophytes in 135 deciduous forest patches in a largely coniferous landscape in Sweden. We tested the effects of forest patch size (0.01-15 ha), patch quality and present and historic connectivity (as revealed by air photographs) on species richness of species groups with different mating systems, reproduction modes and diaspore sizes. 3. Present connectivity to other deciduous forest patches had positive effects on richness of dioecious species with predominant asexual reproduction, whereas richness of monoecious species with predominant sexual reproduction was affected by historic connectivity only. The scale of spatial structuring in species richness increased with decreasing diaspore sizes. Forest patch quality affected richness of monoecious species reproducing sexually but not of dioecious species reproducing asexually. 4. Our results suggest shorter dispersal distances, but higher establishment rates, of large asexual diaspores than of small sexual ones. In monoecious species with sexual reproduction, it may take several decades from establishment to first spore production, and this may explain the strong effect of historic, but not present, forest patch connectivity on species richness of this group. This suggests a trade-off between dispersal distance and age at first reproduction, which may explain the parallel evolution of asexual reproduction and monoecism in species inhabiting patchy, transient habitats. 5. Synthesis. We conclude that dispersal success of metacommunity members is influenced both by species traits and habitat characteristics. In patch-tracking metacommunities, trade-offs in species traits may have evolved as a consequence of conflicting selection pressures imposed by habitat patchiness and dynamics. Syndromes of interrelated species traits imply that fairly small changes in habitat conditions may lead to distinct changes in metacommunity diversity: Species reproducing asexually may drastically decline with increasing distances among patches, whereas sexually reproducing species may decline with increasing patch dynamics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 97, no 1, 176-185 p.
Keyword [en]
asexual reproduction, bryophytes, dispersal strategies, epiphytes, habitat fragmentation, landscape dynamics, life-history trade-offs, metapopulation, patch-tracking, species richness
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Ecological Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107313DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2008.01459.xISI: 000261684400020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107313DiVA: diva2:228730
Available from: 2009-08-05 Created: 2009-08-05 Last updated: 2013-12-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Metapopulation and metacommunity processes, dispersal strategies and life-history trade-offs in epiphytes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Metapopulation and metacommunity processes, dispersal strategies and life-history trade-offs in epiphytes
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to increase knowledge about metapopulation and metacommunity processes in patchy, dynamic landscapes, using epiphytic bryophytes as a model system. Host trees and deciduous forest stands in the coniferous landscape are patchy, temporal and undergo changes in habitat quality during succession. Epiphytes must track this dynamic habitat network for their long-term survival. Community patterns at different spatial scales were explored and linked to regional metapopulation processes and local population dynamics.

Spatial structuring in species richness both at a local and regional scale indicated stronger dispersal limitation but lower sensitivity to habitat quality in species with large asexual than in species with small sexual diaspores. In sexually dispersed species, a strong rescue effect was indicated by a bimodal frequency distribution of the species and by increasing local abundance with increasing patch connectivity. Present connectivity to other deciduous forest patches had positive effects on richness of asexually dispersed species, whereas richness of sexually dispersed species was instead related to the landscape connectivity 30 years ago. A study of local growth and reproduction suggested that this is caused by delayed sexual, but not asexual, reproduction. Habitat conditions affected the production of sporophytes, but not of asexual diaspores. No differences in either growth rates or competitive abilities among species with different dispersal and life-history strategies were found. In vitro experiments showed that establishment is higher from large asexual diaspores than from small sexual. Establishment of all diaspore types was limited by pH. There were indications of trade-offs between high germination and protonemal growth rates, desiccation tolerance and a rapid development of shoots from protonema.

The results indicated that the epiphyte metacommunity is structured by two main trade-offs: dispersal distance (diaspore size) versus age at first reproduction, and dispersal distance versus sensitivity to habitat quality. Trade-offs in species traits may have evolved as a consequence of conflicting selection pressures imposed by habitat turnover, connectivity and irregular water supply rather than by species interactions. Syndromes of interrelated species traits imply that fairly small changes in habitat conditions can lead to distinct changes in metacommunity diversity: the results indicate that increasing distances among patches cause most harm to asexually dispersed species, whereas cuttings of forests of high age and quality as well as increasing patch dynamics are most harmful to sexually dispersed species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 37 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 661
Keyword
asexual, biodiversity, bryophytes, dispersal limitation, establishment, evolution of reproductive traits, germination, growth, habitat fragmentation, landscape dynamics, local processes, patch-tracking, pH, reproduction, species richness, species interactions
National Category
Other Biological Topics
Research subject
Ecological Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-106847 (URN)978-91-554-7578-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-20, Lindahlsalen, EBC, Norbyvägen 18B, 752 36, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
Senarelagd disputation från: 2009-09-26, Lindahlsalen, EBC, Villavägen 9, 75236 Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:00 Available from: 2010-03-09 Created: 2009-07-06 Last updated: 2011-03-02Bibliographically approved

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Löbel, SwantjeRydin, Håkan

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