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The effect of positive interactions on community structure in a multi-species metacommunity model along an environmental gradient [r-libre/485]

Filotas, E.; Grant, M.; Parrott, L., & Rikvold, P.A. (2010). The effect of positive interactions on community structure in a multi-species metacommunity model along an environmental gradient. Ecological Modelling, 221, 885-894. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.12.005

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Content : Accepted Version
 
Item Type: Journal Articles
Refereed: Yes
Status: Published
Abstract: Positive interactions are widely recognized as playing a major role in the organization of community structure and diversity. As such, recent theoretical and empirical works have revealed the significant contribution of positive interactions in shaping species’ geographical distributions, particularly in harsh abiotic conditions. In this report, we explore the joint influence of local dispersal and an environmental gradient on the spatial distribution, structure and function of communities containing positive interactions. While most previous theoretical efforts were limited to modelling the dynamics of single pairs of associated species being mutualist or competitor, here we employ a spatially explicit multi-species metacommunity model covering a rich range of interspecific interactions (mutualism, competition and exploitation) along an environmental gradient. We find that mutualistic interactions dominate in communities with low diversity characterized by limited species dispersal and poor habitat quality. On the other hand, the fraction of mutualistic interactions decreases at the expense of exploitation and competition with the increase in diversity caused by higher dispersal and/or habitat quality. Our multi-species model exemplifies the ubiquitous presence of mutualistic interactions and the role of mutualistic species as facilitators for the further establishment of species during ecosystem assembly. We therefore argue that mutualism is an essential component driving the origination of complex and diverse communities.
Depositor: Lachance, Annie
Owner / Manager: Élise Filotas
Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 14:37
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 20:27

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