Positive associations among rare species and their persistence in ecological assemblages

Calatayud, Joaquín; Andivia, Enrique; Escudero, Adrián; Melián, Carlos J.; Bernardo-Madrid, Rubén; Stoffel, Markus; Aponte, Cristina; Medina, Nagore G.; Molina-Venegas, Rafael; Arnan, Xavier; Rosvall, Martin; Neuman, Magnus; Noriega, Jorge Ari; Alves-Martins, Fernanda; Draper, Isabel; Luzuriaga, Arantzazu; Ballesteros-Cánovas, Juan Antonio; Morales-Molino, César; Ferrandis, Pablo; Herrero, Asier; ... (2020). Positive associations among rare species and their persistence in ecological assemblages. Nature ecology & evolution, 4(1), pp. 40-45. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/s41559-019-1053-5

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According to the competitive exclusion principle, species with low competitive abilities should be excluded by more efficient competitors; yet, they generally remain as rare species. Here, we describe the positive and negative spatial association networks of 326 disparate assemblages, showing a general organization pattern that simultaneously supports the primacy of competition and the persistence of rare species. Abundant species monopolize negative associations in about 90% of the assemblages. On the other hand, rare species are mostly involved in positive associations, forming small network modules. Simulations suggest that positive interactions among rare species and microhabitat preferences are the most probable mechanisms underpinning this pattern and rare species persistence. The consistent results across taxa and geography suggest a general explanation for the maintenance of biodiversity in competitive environments.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Molina Venegas, Rafael and Morales del Molino, Cesar

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

2397-334X

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2020 08:21

Last Modified:

02 Feb 2020 02:53

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41559-019-1053-5

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.137476

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/137476

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