Effects of positive interactions, size symmetry of competition and abiotic stress on self-thinning in simulated plant populations

Cheng Jin Chu, Jacob Weiner, Fernando T. Maestre, You Shi Wang, Charles Morris, Sa Xiao, Jian Li Yuan, Guo Zhen Du, Gang Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Aims: Competition drives self-thinning (density-dependent mortality) in crowded plant populations. Facilitative interactions have been shown to affect many processes in plant populations and communities, but their effects on self-thinning trajectories have not been investigated. Methods: Using an individual-based 'zone-of-influence' model, we studied the potential effects of the size symmetry of competition, abiotic stress and facilitation on self-thinning trajectories in plant monocultures. In the model, abiotic stress reduced the growth of all individuals and facilitation ameliorated the effects of stress on interacting individuals. Key Results: Abiotic stress made the log biomass - log density relationship during self-thinning steeper, but this effect was reduced by positive interactions among individuals. Size-asymmetric competition also influenced the self-thinning slope. Conclusions: Although competition drives self-thinning, its course can be affected by abiotic stress, facilitation and competitive symmetry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-652
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of botany
Volume106
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • abiotic stress
  • Density-dependent mortality
  • positive interactions
  • self-thinning
  • size symmetry competition
  • ZOI
  • zone of influence model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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