NCEAS Project 3840

Facilitation and competition on alpine elevation gradients: A global experiment on the organization of plant communities

  • Ragan Callaway
  • Robin Brooker
  • Christopher J. Lortie
  • Richard Michalet

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group18th—25th February 2001Participant List  
Working Group6th—20th May 2002Participant List  
Working Group27th May—2nd June 2003Participant List  

We propose to organize three meetings, each 7-10 days, in order to analyze data and develop conceptual, empirical, and mathematical models with a working group that has been loosely organized and conducting experiments on interactions in alpine plant communities around the world. Results from one of the nine sites for which data have been collected, the French Alps, and other preliminary analyses indicate that interactions shift from highly competitive in low elevation alpine meadows to highly facilitative in communities ¿l1000m higher and near the physical limits of plant growth. These competitive and facilitative interactions also appear to be coupled with community properties such as biomass, diversity, evenness, and the relative abundance of target species. Furthermore, shifts in species interactions and the intensity of species interactions along elevation gradients appear to correlate with community characteristics and regional climate. We are requesting funds from NCEAS to solve the problems inherent to such a large group of investigators from different parts of the world with a large data set. Funding will allow us to work cohesively as a group on statistical analyses of experimental data, to integrate experimental results with community properties in innovative ways, and to develop empirical and conceptual models for the relationship between climate, biogeography, and plant interactions on gradients.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Brooker, Robin; Kikvidze, Zaal; Pugnaire, Francisco; Callaway, Ragan; Choler, Philippe; Lortie, Christopher J.; Michalet, Richard. 2005. The importance of importance. Oikos. Vol: 109. Pages 63-70.
Presentations Callaway, Ragan. 2001. Positive plant interactions and environmental severity: Evidence from a global experiment. British Ecological Society Winter Meeting, December 2001. Warwick.
Journal Article Callaway, Ragan; Brooker, Robin; Choler, Philippe; Kikvidze, Zaal; Lortie, Christopher J.; Michalet, Richard; Paolini, Leo; Pugnaire, Francisco; Newingham, Beth; Aschehoug, Erik T.; Armas, Cristina; Kikodze, David; Cook, Brad J. 2002. Positive interactions among alpine plants increase with stress. Nature. Vol: 417. Pages 844-848.
Journal Article Callaway, Ragan; Kikodze, David; Chiboshvili, M.; Khetsuriani, L. 2005. Unpalatable plants protect neighbors from grazing and increase plant community diversity. Ecology. Vol: 86(7). Pages 1856-1862.
Journal Article Kikvidze, Zaal. 2002. Facilitation and competition in alpine plant communities. Global Environmental Research. Vol: 6(1). Pages 53-58.
Journal Article Kikvidze, Zaal; Pugnaire, Francisco; Brooker, Robin; Choler, Philippe; Lortie, Christopher J.; Michalet, Richard; Callaway, Ragan. 2005. Linking patterns and processes in alpine plant communities: A global study. Ecology. Vol: 86(6). Pages 1395-1400.
Journal Article Kikvidze, Zaal; Michalet, Richard; Brooker, Robin; Cavieres, Lohengrin; Lortie, Christopher J.; Pugnaire, Francisco; Callaway, Ragan. 2011. Climatic drivers of plant-plant interactions and diversity in alpine communities. Alpine Botany. Vol: 121(1). Pages 63-70. (Online version)
Journal Article Lortie, Christopher J.; Brooker, Robin; Choler, Philippe; Kikvidze, Zaal; Michalet, Richard; Pugnaire, Francisco; Callaway, Ragan. 2004. Rethinking plant community theory. Oikos. Vol: 107. Pages 433-438.
Journal Article Lortie, Christopher J.; Brooker, Robin; Kikvidze, Zaal; Callaway, Ragan. 2004. The value of stress and limitation in an imperfect world: A reply to Korner. Journal of Vegetation Science. Vol: 15. Pages 577-580.
Book Chapter Lortie, Christopher J. 2010. Synthetic analysis of the stress-gradient hypothesis. Edited by Pugniare, Francisco I. Positive Plant Interactions and Community Dynamics. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group LLC. Pages 125-148.
Journal Article Michalet, Richard; Brooker, Robin; Cavieres, Lohengrin; Kikvidze, Zaal; Lortie, Christopher J.; Pugnaire, Francisco; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Callaway, Ragan. 2006. Do biotic interactions shape both sides of the humped-back model of species richness in plant communities?. Ecology Letters. Vol: 9. Pages 767-773.