Data from: The association between a nurse cushion plant and a cluster-root bearing tree species alters the plant community structure
Piper, Frida I., Patagonian Ecosystems Investigation Research Center
Fajardo, Alex, Patagonian Ecosystems Investigation Research Center
Baeza, Gabriela, Patagonian Ecosystems Investigation Research Center
Cavieres, Lohengrin A., Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad‐IEB Santiago Chile
Published Apr 15, 2019 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Piper, Frida I.; Fajardo, Alex; Baeza, Gabriela; Cavieres, Lohengrin A. (2019). Data from: The association between a nurse cushion plant and a cluster-root bearing tree species alters the plant community structure [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.510dt0g
1.Several plant species have the potential to facilitate the presence of other plant species in the community, and yet most of our knowledge on this phenomenon comes from studies considering only one facilitator species. What happens when there are two facilitator species in the community? Are the facilitation effects by one species being altered by the presence of a potentially second facilitator species and vice‐versa (i.e. bidirectional facilitation)?.
2.Knowing that cushion plants ameliorate stress and improve soil fertility and that cluster‐root bearing species mobilise soil phosphorus (P), we investigated the potential occurrence of bidirectional facilitation via stress amelioration and nutrient exchange in the cushion plant Acaena integerrima (Rosaceae) and the cluster‐root bearing tree species Embothrium coccineum (Proteaceae).
3.In southern Chile, where both species naturally occur, we compared aspects of the vegetative and reproductive performance of each species growing in association or not. We also determined if Embothrium alters the nurse effects of Acaena cushions on other species by evaluating species richness, frequency, and abundance in cushion plants with and without Embothrium. To infer the existence of nutrient exchange, we determined soil and leaf nutrient levels of both species.
4.Species richness, frequency, and abundance were higher within than outside Acaena cushions. Although the presence of Embothrium did not enhance the overall positive effects of Acaena on species composition, nine species occurred more frequently when Embothrium was present. Embothrium occurred more frequently and had a higher survival and leaf nitrogen (N) concentration when growing with Acaena than without it, although its growth and leaf P concentration were lower. In contrast, Acaena had a lower number of and mass of fruits per inflorescence and a higher leaf P concentration when growing with versus growing without Embothrium.
5.Synthesis. The cushion plant Acaena integerrima facilitates the occurrence of many species in the community, including the cluster‐root bearing species Embothrium coccineum, which in turn enhances the facilitation effect of Acaena on certain species. When Embothrium and Acaena occur together, the latter improves its nutritional status but reduces its fitness, implying a lack of bidirectional facilitation.
Acaena observational reproductive output
area, plant identit, shoot identity, number of reproductive shoots per area, individual mean fruit mass, number of fruits per shoot, and total fruit mass per shoot of the cushion plant Acaena integerrima in presence and absence of the species Embothrium coccineum
observational reproductive output Dryad.xlsx
soil temperature Dryad
hourly soil temperature inside Acaena integerrima cushion plants and in bare ground, during spring and summer
Soil pH, Organic Matter Content (OMC, %), nitrate (NO3, %), Olsen P (mg. Kg-1), Available K (mg. g-1), exchangeable K (cmol. Kg-1), total N (%), C:N ratio, Fixed P (%), and extractable Al (mg. Kg-1) in cushion plants of Acaena integerrima with and without Embothrium (Acaena + Embothrium and Acaena - Embothrium, respectively), barge ground, and bare gorund sorrounding Embohrium seedlings.
Soil gravimetric water content (%) measured at a single point of time in Acaena cushion with and without Embothrium (Acaena + Embothrium and Acaena - Embothrium, respectively), Embothrium in bare ground, and bare ground.
Effect of Acaena on Embothrium survival and growth
survival (0 and 1 for alive and dead, respectively), relative growth rate in height, and number of new leaves relative to the number of previous leaves in Embothrium seeedlings within and outside Acaena cushions.
survival and RGR Embothrium.xlsx
Effects of the presence versus experimental removal of Embothrium on the reproductive output Acaena
area (m2), Number of fruits per reproductive shoot, total fruit mass per shoot (g) and mean mass of a fruit (g) in cushion plants of Acaena integerrima in presence of Embothrium (control) and after removal (clipped) of Embothrium
experimental reproductive output Acaena.xlsx
Species richness, frequency and abundance
Number of individuals per species sampled in cushion plants of Acaena integerrrima with and without Embothrium, and in bare ground plots.