Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: The Matthew effect: common species become more common and rare ones become more rare in response to artificial light at night

Citation

Liu, Yanjie; Speißer, Benedikt; Knop, Eva; van Kleunen, Mark (2022), Data from: The Matthew effect: common species become more common and rare ones become more rare in response to artificial light at night, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.547d7wmb0

Abstract

Artificial light at night (ALAN) has been and still is rapidly spreading, and has become an important component of global change. Although numerous studies have tested its potential biological and ecological impacts on animals, very few studies have tested whether it affects alien and native plants differently. Furthermore, common plant species, and particularly common alien species, are often found to benefit more from additional resources than rare native and rare alien species. Whether this is also the case with regard to increasing light due to ALAN is still unknown.

Here, we tested how ALAN affected the performance of common and rare alien and native plant species in Germany directly, and indirectly via flying insects. We grew five common alien, six rare alien, five common native and four rare native plant species under four combinations of two ALAN (no ALAN vs ALAN) and two insect-exclusion (no exclusion vs exclusion) treatments, and compared their biomass production.

We found that common plant species, irrespective of their origin, produced significantly more biomass than rare species, and that this was particularly true under ALAN. Furthermore, alien species tended to show a slightly stronger positive response to ALAN than native species did (p = 0.079).

Our study shows that common plant species benefited more from ALAN than rare ones. This might lead to competitive exclusion of rare species, which could have cascading impacts on other trophic levels and thus have important community-wide consequences, when ALAN becomes more widespread. In addition, the slightly more positive response of alien species indicates that ALAN might increase the risk of alien plant invasions.

Methods

We did a common garden experiment and collected data from the experiment. For more details, please see the following paper.

Liu Y*, Speißer B, Knop E, van Kleunen M (2022) Matthew effect: common species become more common and rare ones become more rare in response to artificial light at night, Global Change Biology, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16126.

Usage Notes

Details please see README file.

Funding

Chinese Academy of Sciences , Award: Y9B7041001