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Data from: More partners, more ranges: generalist legumes spread more easily around the globe

Citation

Harrison, Tia L.; Simonsen, Anna K.; Stinchcombe, John R.; Frederickson, Megan E. (2018), Data from: More partners, more ranges: generalist legumes spread more easily around the globe, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rf3664q

Abstract

How does mutualism affect range expansion? On one hand, mutualists might thrive in new habitats thanks to the resources, stress tolerance, or defense provided by their partners. On the other, specialized mutualists might fail to find compatible partners beyond their range margins, limiting further spread. A recent global analysis of legume ranges found that non-symbiotic legumes have been successfully introduced to more ranges than legumes that form symbioses with rhizobia, but there is still abundant unexplained variation in introduction success within symbiotic legumes. We test the hypothesis that generalist legumes have spread to more ranges than specialist legumes. We used published data and rhizobial 16S rRNA sequences from GenBank to quantify the number of rhizobia partners that associate with 159 legume species, spanning the legume phylogeny and the globe. We found that generalist legumes occur in more introduced ranges than specialist legumes, suggesting that among mutualists, specialization hinders range expansions.

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