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Data from: Trait plasticity alters the range of possible coexistence conditions in a competition-colonization trade-off

Citation

Muthukrishnan, Ranjan; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Shaw, Allison; Forester, James (2020), Data from: Trait plasticity alters the range of possible coexistence conditions in a competition-colonization trade-off, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.x3ffbg7fb

Abstract

Most of the classical theory on species coexistence has been based on species-level competitive trade-offs. However, it is becoming apparent that plant species display high levels of trait plasticity. The implications of this plasticity are almost completely unknown for most coexistence theory. Here, we model a competition-colonization trade-off and incorporate trait plasticity to evaluate its effects on coexistence. Our simulations show that the classic competition-colonization trade-off is highly sensitive to environmental circumstances and coexistence only occurs in narrow ranges of conditions. The inclusion of plasticity, which allows shifts in competitive hierarchies across the landscape, leads to coexistence across a much broader range of competitive and environmental conditions including disturbance levels, the magnitude of competitive differences between species, and landscape spatial patterning. Plasticity also increases the number of species that persist in simulations of multispecies assemblages. Plasticity may generally increase the robustness of coexistence mechanisms and be an important component of scaling coexistence theory to higher diversity communities.

Methods

This data set includes the scripts required to recreate and run the simulation model described in the associated manuscript. In addition, data files from simulations that were run to explore model dynamics in the manuscript are also included. Manuscript figures can be recreated using the included script and datafiles.

Usage Notes

See the included README.txt file and model description in the associated manuscript (Muthukrishnan, R., L.L. Sullivan, A.K. Shaw, and J.D. Forester. 2020. Trait plasticity alters the range of possible coexistence conditions in a competition–colonisation trade-off. Ecology Letters)