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With a little help from my friends : Community facilitation increases performance in the dwarf shrub Salix herbacea

With a little help from my friends : Community facilitation increases performance in the dwarf shrub Salix herbacea

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WHEELER, Julia A., Flurina SCHNIDER, Janosch SEDLACEK, Andrés J. CORTÉS, Sonja WIPF, Günter HOCH, Christian RIXEN, 2015. With a little help from my friends : Community facilitation increases performance in the dwarf shrub Salix herbacea. In: Basic and Applied Ecology. 16(3), pp. 202-209. ISSN 1439-1791. eISSN 1618-0089. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2015.02.004

@article{Wheeler2015littl-31031, title={With a little help from my friends : Community facilitation increases performance in the dwarf shrub Salix herbacea}, year={2015}, doi={10.1016/j.baae.2015.02.004}, number={3}, volume={16}, issn={1439-1791}, journal={Basic and Applied Ecology}, pages={202--209}, author={Wheeler, Julia A. and Schnider, Flurina and Sedlacek, Janosch and Cortés, Andrés J. and Wipf, Sonja and Hoch, Günter and Rixen, Christian} }

Wipf, Sonja Hoch, Günter 2015 Hoch, Günter 2015-05-26T12:38:43Z eng Rixen, Christian Sedlacek, Janosch Wheeler, Julia A. 2015-05-26T12:38:43Z Cortés, Andrés J. Schnider, Flurina With a little help from my friends : Community facilitation increases performance in the dwarf shrub Salix herbacea Wipf, Sonja Schnider, Flurina Shifts between positive and negative plant interactions along environmental stress gradients can affect alpine plant performance. We removed neighbours around Salix herbacea, a common arctic and alpine dwarf shrub, along elevational and snowmelt gradients on three mountains in Switzerland. The objectives of our study were to determine the effect of neighbours on phenological, morphological, and fitness traits of S. herbacea, and to determine whether neighbour interactions shift from competition to facilitation along environmental stress gradients.<br /><br />Target plants without neighbours required less time for fruit production; however, they also were more likely to be damaged by caterpillar herbivory. Effects of neighbour removal changed along the environmental gradients: plants without neighbours had smaller leaves on earlier snowmelt sites, and increased fungal damage with increasing elevation. Without neighbour removal, damage generally led to reduced female flowering under later snowmelt conditions in the following summer.<br /><br />Our results indicate that the majority of neighbour interactions influencing S. herbacea are facilitative, particularly at stressful early snowmelt and high elevation sites. We suggest that neighbours moderate environmental conditions by protecting plants from temperature extremes, and reduce plant apparency to caterpillars. Neighbours also indirectly increase fitness by reducing damage. Facilitation by neighbours may become more important under climate change, as early snowmelt may increase stress. Rixen, Christian Cortés, Andrés J. Sedlacek, Janosch Wheeler, Julia A.

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