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      Competition and coexistence in plant communities: intraspecific competition is stronger than interspecific competition

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          Diversity and the Coevolution of Competitors, or the Ghost of Competition Past

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            A niche for neutrality.

            Ecologists now recognize that controversy over the relative importance of niches and neutrality cannot be resolved by analyzing species abundance patterns. Here, we use classical coexistence theory to reframe the debate in terms of stabilizing mechanisms (niches) and fitness equivalence (neutrality). The neutral model is a special case where stabilizing mechanisms are absent and species have equivalent fitness. Instead of asking whether niches or neutral processes structure communities, we advocate determining the degree to which observed diversity reflects strong stabilizing mechanisms overcoming large fitness differences or weak stabilization operating on species of similar fitness. To answer this question, we propose combining data on per capita growth rates with models to: (i) quantify the strength of stabilizing processes; (ii) quantify fitness inequality and compare it with stabilization; and (iii) manipulate frequency dependence in growth to test the consequences of stabilization and fitness equivalence for coexistence.
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              Rooting theories of plant community ecology in microbial interactions.

              Predominant frameworks for understanding plant ecology have an aboveground bias that neglects soil micro-organisms. This is inconsistent with recent work illustrating the importance of soil microbes in terrestrial ecology. Microbial effects have been incorporated into plant community dynamics using ideas of niche modification and plant-soil community feedbacks. Here, we expand and integrate qualitative conceptual models of plant niche and feedback to explore implications of microbial interactions for understanding plant community ecology. At the same time we review the empirical evidence for these processes. We also consider common mycorrhizal networks, and propose that these are best interpreted within the feedback framework. Finally, we apply our integrated model of niche and feedback to understanding plant coexistence, monodominance and invasion ecology. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecology Letters
                Ecol Lett
                Wiley
                1461023X
                September 2018
                September 2018
                June 25 2018
                : 21
                : 9
                : 1319-1329
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center; Utah State University; Logan UT 84322 USA
                [2 ]School of Natural Resources and Environment; University of Florida; Gainesville FL 32611 USA
                Article
                10.1111/ele.13098
                29938882
                5738614b-3d97-46c9-b36a-d124b15cda26
                © 2018

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

                http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/termsAndConditions#am

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