Data from: Temperature-dependent species interactions shape priority effects and the persistence of unequal competitors
Grainger, Tess N.; Rego, Adam I.; Gilbert, Benjamin; Grainger, Tess (2017), Data from: Temperature-dependent species interactions shape priority effects and the persistence of unequal competitors, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3qn05
The order of species arrival at a site can determine the outcome of competitive interactions when early arrivers alter the environment or deplete shared resources. These priority effects are predicted to be stronger at high temperatures, as higher vital rates caused by warming allows early arrivers to more rapidly impact a shared environment. We tested this prediction using a pair of congeneric aphid species that specialize on milkweed plants. We manipulated temperature and arrival order of the two aphid species, and measured aphid population dynamics and milkweed survival and defensive traits. We found that warming increased the impact of aphids on the quantity and quality of milkweed, which amplified the importance of priority effects by increasing the competitive exclusion of the inferior competitor when it arrived late. Warming also enhanced interspecific differences in dispersal, which could alter relative arrival times at a regional scale. Our experiment provides a first link between temperature-dependent trophic interactions, priority effects and dispersal. This study suggests that the indirect and cascading effects of temperature observed here may be important determinants of diversity in the temporally and spatially complex landscapes that characterize ecological communities.