J Plant Ecol ›› 2014, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (4): 347-355.DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtt032

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Trait-based filtering from the regional species pool into local grassland communities

Bryndís Marteinsdóttir* and Ove Eriksson   

  1. Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm SE-106 91, Sweden
  • Received:2012-11-28 Accepted:2013-06-20 Published:2014-07-22
  • Contact: Marteinsdóttir, Bryndís

Abstract: Aims For plants to establish in a local community from a pool of possible colonizers from the region, it must pass through a series of filters. Which of the filters is most important in this process has been much debated. In this study, we explored how species are filtered from the regional species pool into local communities. The aim was to determine if differences in species abundance and functional traits could explain which species from the regional species pool establish at the local scale and if the filtering differed between grassland communities.
Methods This study took place in a cultivated landscape in southeastern Sweden. We estimated plant species abundance in 12 ex-arable field sites and 8 adjacent seminatural grassland sites and in a 100-m radius around the center of each site. We used Monte Carlo simulations to examine if species abundance and functional traits (height, seed mass, clonal abilities, specific leaf area and dispersal method) controlled the filtering of species from the regional pool into local communities.
Important findings On average, only 28% of species found in the regional pool established in the ex-arable field sites and 45% in the seminatural grassland sites, indicating that the size of the regional species pool was not limiting local richness. For both grassland types, species abundance in the regional pool was positively correlated with species occurrence at the local scale. We found evidence for both species interaction filtering and dispersal limitation influencing the local assembly. Both local and regional processes were thus influencing the filtering of species from the regional species pool into local communities. In addition, the age of the communities influenced species filtering, indicating that community assembly and the importance of different filters in that process change over succession.

Key words: assembly rules, community assembly, dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, functional traits, limiting similarity

摘要:
Aims For plants to establish in a local community from a pool of possible colonizers from the region, it must pass through a series of filters. Which of the filters is most important in this process has been much debated. In this study, we explored how species are filtered from the regional species pool into local communities. The aim was to determine if differences in species abundance and functional traits could explain which species from the regional species pool establish at the local scale and if the filtering differed between grassland communities.
Methods This study took place in a cultivated landscape in southeastern Sweden. We estimated plant species abundance in 12 ex-arable field sites and 8 adjacent seminatural grassland sites and in a 100-m radius around the center of each site. We used Monte Carlo simulations to examine if species abundance and functional traits (height, seed mass, clonal abilities, specific leaf area and dispersal method) controlled the filtering of species from the regional pool into local communities.
Important findings On average, only 28% of species found in the regional pool established in the ex-arable field sites and 45% in the seminatural grassland sites, indicating that the size of the regional species pool was not limiting local richness. For both grassland types, species abundance in the regional pool was positively correlated with species occurrence at the local scale. We found evidence for both species interaction filtering and dispersal limitation influencing the local assembly. Both local and regional processes were thus influencing the filtering of species from the regional species pool into local communities. In addition, the age of the communities influenced species filtering, indicating that community assembly and the importance of different filters in that process change over succession.