Data from: Mutualists stabilize coexistence of congeneric legumes
Siefert, Andrew, University of California, Davis
Zillig, Kenneth W., University of California, Davis
Friesen, Maren L., Washington State University
Strauss, Sharon Y., University of California, Davis
Published Dec 26, 2019 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Siefert, Andrew; Zillig, Kenneth W.; Friesen, Maren L.; Strauss, Sharon Y. (2019). Data from: Mutualists stabilize coexistence of congeneric legumes [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1f2c124
Coexistence requires that stabilizing niche differences, which cause species to limit themselves more than others, outweigh relative fitness differences that cause competitive exclusion. Interactions with shared mutualists, which can differentially affect host fitness and change in magnitude with host frequency, can satisfy these conditions for coexistence, yet empirical tests of mutualist effects on relative fitness and stabilizing niche differences are largely lacking within the framework of coexistence theory. Here, we show that N-fixing rhizobial mutualists mediate coexistence in four naturally co-occurring, congeneric legume (Trifolium) species. Using experimental greenhouse communities, we quantified relative fitness and stabilizing niche differences for each species in the presence of rhizobia originating from conspecific or congeneric hosts. Rhizobia stabilized coexistence by increasing self-limitation of Trifolium species grown with conspecific rhizobia, thus allowing congeners to increase when rare. Greenhouse-measured invasion growth rates predicted natural, unmanipulated coexistence dynamics of Trifolium species over two years in our field sites. Our results demonstrate that interactions with shared mutualists can stabilize coexistence of closely related species.
Greenhouse experiment community biomass data
Greenhouse experiment neighborhood data
Individual biomass, trait, and neighborhood composition for Trifolium greenhouse experiment
Field survey data
Estimate density (individuals per square meter) of Trifolium species in 2x2-m field plots at Bodega Marine Reserve, CA, 2015-2016
National Science Foundation, Award: 1342841, 1342793