Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Breaking down the components of the competition-colonization trade-off: new insights into its role in diverse systems

Citation

Ferzoco, Ilia Maria; McCauley, Shannon (2022), Data from: Breaking down the components of the competition-colonization trade-off: new insights into its role in diverse systems, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1jwstqjzk

Abstract

1. Performance trade-offs between competition and colonization can be an important mechanism facilitating regional coexistence of competitors. However, empirical evidence for this trade-off is mixed, raising questions about the extent to which it shapes diverse ecological communities. Here we outline a framework that can be used to improve empirical tests of the competition-colonization trade-off.

2. We argue that tests of the competition-colonization trade-off have been diverted into unproductive paths when dispersal mode and/or competition type have been inadequately defined. To generate comparative predictions of associations between dispersal and competitive performance, we develop a conceptual trait-based framework that clarifies how dispersal mode and type of competitor shape this trade-off at the stage of dispersal and establishment in a variety of systems. Our framework suggests that competition-colonization trade-offs may be less common for passively dispersing organisms when competitive dominants are those best able to withstand resource depletion (competitive response), and for active dispersers when traits for dispersal performance are positively associated with resource pre-emption (competitive effect).

3. The framework presented here is designed to provide common ground for researchers working in different systems in order to prompt more effective assessment of this performance trade-off and its role in shaping community structure. By delineating key system properties that mediate the trade-off between competitive and colonization performance and their relationship to individual-level traits, researchers in disparate systems can structure their predictions about this trade-off more effectively and compare across systems more clearly.

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada