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Abstract



Citation. Reader, R. J.; Wilson, S. D.; Belcher, J. W.; Wisheu, I.; Keddy, P. A.; Tilman, D.; Morris, E. C.; Grace, J. B.; McGraw, J. B.; Olff, H.; Turkington, R.; Klein, E.; Leung, Y.; Shipley, B.; Hulst, R. van; Johansson, M. E.; Nilsson, C.; Gurevitch, J.; Grigulis, K.; Beisner, B. E. 1994. Plant competition in relation to neighbor biomass: an intercontinental study with Poa pratensis. Ecology 75:1753-1760.   [1119  LTER]

Abstract. A standardized neighbor removal experiment was conducted in 12 plant communities located on three continents to test the null hypothesis that competition intensity (CI) was independent of the amount of plant biomass present. Six plots were chosen in each community to cover the range of local variation in plant biomass. In each plot the relative growth rate (RGR) of transplanted Poa pratensis (Poaceae) seedlings was compared in the presence and absence of neighbors. Neighbors were removed experimentally using herbicide. Removing neighbors increased RGR of transplants significantly in most plots. Cl increased with an increase in the amount of neighbor biomass present in one community where the range of neighbor biomass was greater than in any other community. In contrast, CI did not change significantly with an increase in neighbor biomass in other communities where the range of neighbor biomass was smaller. For the communities combined, CI was not related to neighbor biomass in a consistent fashion. These results indicate that competition may reduce growth over a wide range of habitat productivity, but the relationship between CI and neighbor biomass may differ among communities.

Keywords. Australia, Europe, habitat productivity, North America, plant competition, Poa pratensis, removal experiment


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