Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: The effect of niche filtering on plant species abundance in temperate grassland communities
Authors: Padullés Cubino, Josep
Axmanová, Irena
Lososová, Zdeňka
Večeřa, Martin
Bergamini, Ariel
Bruelheide, Helge
Dengler, Jürgen
Jandt, Ute
Jansen, Florian
Pätsch, Ricarda
Chytrý, Milan
et. al: No
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.13994
Published in: Functional Ecology
Volume(Issue): 36
Issue: 4
Page(s): 962
Pages to: 973
Issue Date: 5-Apr-2022
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Wiley
ISSN: 0269-8463
Language: English
Subjects: Community ecology; Species relative cover; Seed plant; Functional trait; Macroecology; Neutral theory; Niche differentiation; Phylogeny
Subject (DDC): 577: Ecology
580: Plants (Botany)
Abstract: 1. Niche filtering predicts that abundant species in communities have similar traits that are suitable for the environment. However, niche filtering can operate on distinct axes of trait variation in response to different ecological conditions. Here, we use a trait-based approach to infer niche filtering processes and (a) test if abundant and rare species in grassland communities are differently positioned along distinct axes of trait variation, (b) determine if these trait variation axes, as well as phylogenetic and functional similarities, drive species relative abundance (above-ground cover) within communities, and (c) explore whether these relationships vary across grassland types and macro-climatic gradients. 2. We analysed species abundance in vegetation plots from temperate grasslands in Central Europe as a function of species position along three axes of trait variation: the ‘Plant Size Spectrum’ (PSS), the ‘Leaf Economics Spectrum’ (LES) and the ‘Life span/Clonality Spectrum’ (LCS). We also used phylogenetic and functional similarities in the multi-dimensional trait space as predictors of species abundance. We compared our results among alpine, wet, mesic and dry grasslands and tested whether the effect of the predictors on species abundance was significant across macro-climatic gradients. 3. Compared to abundant species, rare species in grassland communities were more commonly annual and non-clonal, had lower stature and smaller leaves and seeds, and relied on more acquisitive leaf economics. Our predictors significantly explained species abundance in approximately one-third of the plots. LES was the most important predictor across all plots, with the most prominent effect in alpine and dry grasslands and areas with more extreme temperatures. In contrast, in mesic and wet grasslands and grasslands located in warmer and less seasonal regions, species abundance was best predicted by phylogenetic similarities between species, with Poaceae species becoming more abundant. 4. Our study explored trait–abundance relationships for different community types across a large area and broad macro-climatic gradients. We conclude that niche filtering, and particularly resource-acquisition trade-offs, drives species abundance in temperate grassland communities of Central Europe. Our findings emphasize the interaction between local environmental conditions and plant function in determining community assembly.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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