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Data from: Mistletoe infection in an oak forest is influenced by competition and host size


Matula, Radim et al. (2016), Data from: Mistletoe infection in an oak forest is influenced by competition and host size, Dryad, Dataset,


Host size and distance from an infected plant have been previously found to affect mistletoe occurrence in woody vegetation but the effect of host plant competition on mistletoe infection has not been empirically tested. For an individual tree, increasing competition from neighbouring trees decreases its resource availability, and resource availability is also known to affect the establishment of mistletoes on host trees. Therefore, competition is likely to affect mistletoe infection but evidence for such a mechanism is lacking. Based on this, we hypothesised that the probability of occurrence as well as the abundance of mistletoes on a tree would increase not only with increasing host size and decreasing distance from an infected tree but also with decreasing competition by neighbouring trees. Our hypothesis was tested using generalized linear models (GLMs) with data on Loranthus europaeus Jacq., one of the two most common mistletoes in Europe, on 1015 potential host stems collected in a large fully mapped plot in the Czech Republic. Because many trees were multi-stemmed, we ran the analyses for both individual stems and whole trees. We found that the probability of mistletoe occurrence on individual stems was affected mostly by stem size, whereas competition had the most important effects on the probability of mistletoe occurrence on whole trees as well as on mistletoe abundance. Therefore, we confirmed our hypothesis that competition among trees has a negative effect on mistletoe occurrence.

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Czech Republic
Podýjí National Park