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  • 1 Unite de Recherche Hydrobiologie, Cemagref, 361. rue Jean-François Breton, BP 5095 - 34196 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.
  • | 2 Botany Department, University of Otago. P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
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Assembly rules are measures of community structure that link observed patterns with ecological processes, and as such may help to elucidate the mechanisms by which species coexist. We apply two approaches to a lawn community - limiting similarity and guild proportionality - hoping that agreement between them might give robust conclusions. We tested for agreement between these two assembly rules using functional characters that are related to two aspects of species function - light capture and response to defoliation. We combined point quadrat data and a null model approach to test for limiting similarity - a tendency for species differing in functional characters to co-occur more often than expected at random - in turves extracted from the lawn community. Examining the variance in the characters of the species co-occuring at each point, evidence for limiting similarity was found for mowing removal (the proportion of leaf area removed in mowing events). There was greater variation between the species co-occurring at a point than expected at random (i.e., under an appropriate null model). However, no such evidence was found for characters related uniquely to light capture, such as specific leaf area and pigment concentrations. In a previous study in the same community, “intrinsic” guilds had been determined from co-occurrences within the lawn community and from a competition experiment, as those effective in determining species assembly and co-existence. These intrinsic guilds are shown by t-test to differ in the proportion of their biomass removed in mowing (MRI), which is of course related to the height at which their leaf area is held. However, again no differences were seen in characters related uniquely to light capture. Thus, the two different approaches to assembly rules - guild proportionality and limiting similarity - agree that differences in response to mowing are responsible for species co-existence in the lawn community. The agreement between these two approaches, tested on independent datasets of quite different type from the same community, gives possibly the strongest evidence so far that niche differentiation may be responsible for local co-existence in plant communities. However, although MRI is related to this co-existence the lack of correlation with light-capture characters leads to speculation that the effects might be via the below-ground behaviour of the species.

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Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Podani, János

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Jordán, Ferenc

Honorary Editor(s): Orlóci, László

Editorial Board

  • Madhur Anand, CAN (forest ecology, computational ecology, and ecological complexity)
  • S. Bagella, ITA (temporal dynamics, including succession, community level patterns of species richness and diversity, experimental studies of plant, animal and microbial communities, plant communities of the Mediterranean)
  • P. Batáry, HUN (landscape ecology, agroecology, ecosystem services)
  • P. A. V. Borges, PRT (community level patterns of species richness and diversity, sampling in theory and practice)
  • A. Davis, GER (supervised learning, multitrophic interactions, food webs, multivariate analysis, ecological statistics, experimental design, fractals, parasitoids, species diversity, community assembly, ticks, biodiversity, climate change, biological networks, cranes, olfactometry, evolution)
  • Z. Elek, HUN (insect ecology, invertebrate conservation, population dynamics, especially of long-term field studies, insect sampling)
  • T. Kalapos, HUN (community level plant ecophysiology, grassland ecology, vegetation-soil relationship)
  • G. M. Kovács, HUN (microbial ecology, plant-fungus interactions, mycorrhizas)
  • W. C. Liu,TWN (community-based ecological theory and modelling issues, temporal dynamics, including succession, trophic interactions, competition, species response to the environment)
  • L. Mucina, AUS (vegetation survey, syntaxonomy, evolutionary community ecology, assembly rules, global vegetation patterns, mediterranean ecology)
  • P. Ódor, HUN (plant communities, bryophyte ecology, numerical methods)
  • F. Rigal, FRA (island biogeography, macroecology, functional diversity, arthropod ecology)
  • D. Rocchini, ITA (biodiversity, multiple scales, spatial scales, species distribution, spatial ecology, remote sensing, ecological informatics, computational ecology)
  • F. Samu, HUN (landscape ecology, biological control, generalist predators, spiders, arthropods, conservation biology, sampling methods)
  • U. Scharler, ZAF (ecological networks, food webs, estuaries, marine, mangroves, stoichiometry, temperate, subtropical)
  • D. Schmera, HUN (aquatic communities, functional diversity, ecological theory)
  • M. Scotti, GER (community-based ecological theory and modelling issues, trophic interactions, competition, species response to the environment, ecological networks)
  • B. Tóthmérész, HUN (biodiversity, soil zoology, spatial models, macroecology, ecological modeling)
  • S. Wollrab, GER (aquatic ecology, food web dynamics, plankton ecology, predator-prey interactions)

 

Advisory Board

  • S. Bartha, HUN
  • S.L. Collins, USA
  • T. Czárán, HUN
  • E. Feoli, ITA
  • N. Kenkel, CAN
  • J. Lepš, CZE
  • S. Mazzoleni, ITA
  • Cs. Moskát, HUN
  • B. Oborny, HUN
  • M.W. Palmer, USA
  • G.P. Patil, USA
  • V. de Patta Pillar, BRA
  • C. Ricotta, ITA
  • Á. Szentesi, HUN

PODANI, JÁNOS
E-mail: podani@ludens.elte.hu


JORDÁN, FERENC
E-mail: jordan.ferenc@gmail.com

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Community Ecology
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2000
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
2
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
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Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1585-8553 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2756 (Online)