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Abiotic conditions shape the relationship between indigenous and exotic species richness in a montane biodiversity hotspot

Popp, Manuel R.; Kalwij, Jesse M.

Montane ecosystems are more prone to invasions by exotic plant species than previously thought. Besides abiotic factors, such as climate and soil properties, plant-plant interactions within communities are likely to affect the performance of potential invaders in their exotic range. The biotic resistance hypothesis predicts that high indigenous species richness hampers plant invasions. The biotic acceptance hypothesis, on the other hand, predicts a positive relationship between indigenous and exotic species richness. We tested these two hypotheses using observational data along an elevational gradient in a southern African biodiversity hotspot. Species composition data of indigenous and exotic plants were recorded in 20 road verge plots along a gradient of 1775–2775 m a.s.l. in the Drakensberg, South Africa. Plots were 2 × 50 m in size and positioned at 50 m elevational intervals. We found a negative correlation between indigenous and exotic richness for locations with poorly developed mineral soils, suggesting biotic resistance through competitive interactions. A strong positive correlation for plots with very shallow soils at high elevations indicated a lack of biotic resistance and the possibility of facilitating interactions in harsher environments. ... mehr

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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000130527
Veröffentlicht am 19.03.2021
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie (IFGG)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1385-0237, 0042-3106, 1573-5052, 2212-2176
KITopen-ID: 1000130527
Erschienen in Plant Ecology
Verlag Springer
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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