Publication
Title
Direct and higher-order interactions in plant communities under increasing weather persistence
Author
Abstract
Climate change is increasing the weather persistence in the mid-latitudes, prolonging both dry and wet spells compared to historic averages. These newly emerging environmental conditions destabilize plant communities, but the role of species interactions in this process is unknown. Here, we tested how direct and higher-order interactions (HOIs) between species may change in synthesized grassland communities along an experimental gradient of increasing persistence in precipitation regimes. Our results indicate that species interactions (including HOIs) are an important determinant of plant performance under increasing weather persistence. Out of the 12 most parsimonious models predicting species productivity, 75% contained significant direct interactions and 92% significant HOIs. Inclusion of direct interactions or HOIs respectively tripled or quadrupled the explained variance of target species biomass compared to null models only including the precipitation treatment. Drought was the main driver of plant responses, with longer droughts increasing direct competition but also HOI-driven facilitation. Despite these counteracting changes, drought intensified net competition. Grasses were generally more involved in competitive interactions whereas legumes were more involved in facilitative interactions. Under longer drought, species affinity for nutrient rich or wet environments resulted in more negative direct interactions or HOIs, respectively. We conclude that HOIs, crucially depending on species identity, only partially stabilize community dynamics under increasing weather persistence.Keywords: drought, facilitation and competition, grasslands, higher-order interactions, increasing weather persistence, species interactions
Language
English
Source (journal)
Oikos: a journal of ecology. - København
Publication
København : 2023
ISSN
0030-1299
DOI
10.1111/OIK.10128
Volume/pages
(2023) , 12 p.
Article Reference
e10128
ISI
001126940200001
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 19.06.2024
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Analysis and Experimentation on Ecocystems (AnaEE).
AnaEE-Flanders: Integrated infrastructure for experimental ecosystem research.
The effectiveness of novel genotypes and soil organic matter to protect agricultural grasslands against increasingly persistent weather.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 09.01.2024
Last edited 16.01.2024
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