Shrub facilitation increases plant diversity along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary in South America
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van Zonneveld, M.J.; Gutierrez, J.R.; Holmgren, M. -2012-Shrub facilitation increases plant diversity along an arid scrubland-temperate rain forest boundary in South America-Journal of Vegetation Science 23(3)-p.541-551
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/35847
Theoretical models predict nurse plant facilitation enhances species richness by ameliorating stressful environmental conditions and expanding distributional ranges of stress-intolerant species into harsh environments. We studied the role of nurse facilitation on the recruitment of perennial plants along an arid scrublandﾖtemperate rain forest boundary to test the following predictions: (1) nurse shrub canopy increases seedling abundance and species richness along the rain forestﾖscrubland boundary; (2) scrubland species are less dependent on facilitative interactions than temperate rain forest species, especially at the moister, upper end of the gradient.