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Title: Elevated carbon dioxide is predicted to promote coexistence among competing species in a trait-based model

Abstract

Differential species responses to atmospheric CO2 concentration (Ca) could lead to quantitative changes in competition among species and community composition, with flow-on effects for ecosystem function. However, there has been little theoretical analysis of how elevated Ca (eCa) will affect plant competition, or how composition of plant communities might change. Such theoretical analysis is needed for developing testable hypotheses to frame experimental research. Here, we investigated theoretically how plant competition might change under eCa by implementing two alternative competition theories, resource use theory and resource capture theory, in a plant carbon and nitrogen cycling model. The model makes several novel predictions for the impact of eCa on plant community composition. Using resource use theory, the model predicts that eCa is unlikely to change species dominance in competition, but is likely to increase coexistence among species. Using resource capture theory, the model predicts that eCa may increase community evenness. Collectively, both theories suggest that eCa will favor coexistence and hence that species diversity should increase with eCa. Our theoretical analysis leads to a novel hypothesis for the impact of eCa on plant community composition. In this study, the hypothesis has potential to help guide the design and interpretation of eCa experiments.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5]
  1. Division of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos New Mexico USA, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine California USA, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University, North Ryde NSW 2109 Australia
  2. Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University, North Ryde NSW 2109 Australia, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797 Penrith NSW 2751 Australia
  3. Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University, North Ryde NSW 2109 Australia, UMR 5175, Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, 1919 route de Mende 34090 Montepellier France, UMR 7205, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, CP50 45 rue Buffon 75005 Paris France
  4. Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797 Penrith NSW 2751 Australia
  5. Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797 Penrith NSW 2751 Australia, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, St. Paul Minnesota USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1223042
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1222601; OSTI ID: 1223043
Grant/Contract Number:  
DOE/DE-FG02-96ER62291; FC02-06ER64158; DP1094791; FG02-96ER62291; 0322057; 9411972; 0080382; 0620652; 0716587
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Ecology and Evolution
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Ecology and Evolution Journal Volume: 5 Journal Issue: 20; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-7758
Publisher:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; elevated CO2; plant competition; species diversity; species traits

Citation Formats

Ali, Ashehad A., Medlyn, Belinda E., Aubier, Thomas G., Crous, Kristine Y., and Reich, Peter B. Elevated carbon dioxide is predicted to promote coexistence among competing species in a trait-based model. United Kingdom: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1002/ece3.1733.
Ali, Ashehad A., Medlyn, Belinda E., Aubier, Thomas G., Crous, Kristine Y., & Reich, Peter B. Elevated carbon dioxide is predicted to promote coexistence among competing species in a trait-based model. United Kingdom. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1733
Ali, Ashehad A., Medlyn, Belinda E., Aubier, Thomas G., Crous, Kristine Y., and Reich, Peter B. Tue . "Elevated carbon dioxide is predicted to promote coexistence among competing species in a trait-based model". United Kingdom. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1733.
@article{osti_1223042,
title = {Elevated carbon dioxide is predicted to promote coexistence among competing species in a trait-based model},
author = {Ali, Ashehad A. and Medlyn, Belinda E. and Aubier, Thomas G. and Crous, Kristine Y. and Reich, Peter B.},
abstractNote = {Differential species responses to atmospheric CO2 concentration (Ca) could lead to quantitative changes in competition among species and community composition, with flow-on effects for ecosystem function. However, there has been little theoretical analysis of how elevated Ca (eCa) will affect plant competition, or how composition of plant communities might change. Such theoretical analysis is needed for developing testable hypotheses to frame experimental research. Here, we investigated theoretically how plant competition might change under eCa by implementing two alternative competition theories, resource use theory and resource capture theory, in a plant carbon and nitrogen cycling model. The model makes several novel predictions for the impact of eCa on plant community composition. Using resource use theory, the model predicts that eCa is unlikely to change species dominance in competition, but is likely to increase coexistence among species. Using resource capture theory, the model predicts that eCa may increase community evenness. Collectively, both theories suggest that eCa will favor coexistence and hence that species diversity should increase with eCa. Our theoretical analysis leads to a novel hypothesis for the impact of eCa on plant community composition. In this study, the hypothesis has potential to help guide the design and interpretation of eCa experiments.},
doi = {10.1002/ece3.1733},
journal = {Ecology and Evolution},
number = 20,
volume = 5,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2015},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1733

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