Phenotypic differentiation within a foundation grass species correlates with species richness in a subalpine community. Al Hayek, P., Touzard, B., Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Y., & Michalet, R. Oecologia, 176(2):533--544, 2014.
Phenotypic differentiation within a foundation grass species correlates with species richness in a subalpine community [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Few studies have examined consequences of ecotypic differentiation within alpine foundation species for community diversity and their feedbacks for the foundation species’ fitness. Additionally, no study has quantified ecotypic differences in competitive effects in the field and in controlled conditions to disentangle genetic from plasticity effects in foundation/subordinate species interactions. We focused on a subalpine community of the French Pyrenees including two phenotypes of a cushion-forming species, Festuca gautieri: tight cushions in dry convex outcrops, and loose cushions (exhibiting high subordinate species richness) in wet concave slopes. We assessed, with field and shadehouse experiments, the genetic vs. plasticity basis of differences in: (1) cushion traits and (2) competitive effects on subordinates, and (3) quantified community feedbacks on foundation species’ fitness. We found that trait differences across habitats had both genetic and plasticity bases, with stronger contribution of the latter. Field results showed higher competition within loose than tight phenotypes. In contrast, shadehouse results showed higher competitive ability for tight phenotypes. However, as changes in interactions across habitats were due to environmental effects without changes in cushion effects, we argue that heritable and plastic changes in competitive effects maintain high subordinate species diversity through decreasing competition. We showed high reproduction cost for loose cushions when hosting subordinates highlighting the occurrence of community feedbacks. These results suggest that phenotypic differentiation within foundation species may cascade on subordinate species diversity through heritable and plastic changes in the foundation species’ competitive effects, and that community feedbacks may affect foundation species’ fitness. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
@article{al_hayek_phenotypic_2014,
	title = {Phenotypic differentiation within a foundation grass species correlates with species richness in a subalpine community},
	volume = {176},
	url = {https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84907751405&doi=10.1007%2fs00442-014-3034-3&partnerID=40&md5=7e303a25e973f6c9a77089c687306800},
	doi = {10.1007/s00442-014-3034-3},
	abstract = {Few studies have examined consequences of ecotypic differentiation within alpine foundation species for community diversity and their feedbacks for the foundation species’ fitness. Additionally, no study has quantified ecotypic differences in competitive effects in the field and in controlled conditions to disentangle genetic from plasticity effects in foundation/subordinate species interactions. We focused on a subalpine community of the French Pyrenees including two phenotypes of a cushion-forming species, Festuca gautieri: tight cushions in dry convex outcrops, and loose cushions (exhibiting high subordinate species richness) in wet concave slopes. We assessed, with field and shadehouse experiments, the genetic vs. plasticity basis of differences in: (1) cushion traits and (2) competitive effects on subordinates, and (3) quantified community feedbacks on foundation species’ fitness. We found that trait differences across habitats had both genetic and plasticity bases, with stronger contribution of the latter. Field results showed higher competition within loose than tight phenotypes. In contrast, shadehouse results showed higher competitive ability for tight phenotypes. However, as changes in interactions across habitats were due to environmental effects without changes in cushion effects, we argue that heritable and plastic changes in competitive effects maintain high subordinate species diversity through decreasing competition. We showed high reproduction cost for loose cushions when hosting subordinates highlighting the occurrence of community feedbacks. These results suggest that phenotypic differentiation within foundation species may cascade on subordinate species diversity through heritable and plastic changes in the foundation species’ competitive effects, and that community feedbacks may affect foundation species’ fitness. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.},
	number = {2},
	journal = {Oecologia},
	author = {Al Hayek, P. and Touzard, B. and Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Y. and Michalet, R.},
	year = {2014},
	keywords = {Biotic interactions, Competition, Facilitation, Feedback effects, Festuca, France, Phenotypic plasticity, ecotype, environmental effect, fescue, fitness, genetic differentiation, genetics, genotype, grassland, heritability, life history trait, phenotype, physiology, species diversity, species richness, subalpine environment},
	pages = {533--544}
}

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