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Net plant interactions are highly variable and weakly dependent on climate at the global scale
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Yang XJ, Gomez-Aparicio L, Lortie CJ, Verdu M, Cavieres LA, Huang ZY*, Gao RR, Liu R, Zhao YL, Cornelissen JHC
PubYear : 2022
Volume :   Issue : 
Publication Name : ECOLOGY LETTERS
Page number : DOI:10.1111/ele.14010
Abstract : Although plant–plant interactions (i.e. competition and facilitation) have long been recognised as key drivers of plant community composition and dynamics, their global patterns and relationships with climate have remained unclear. Here, we assembled a global database of 10,502 pairs of empirical data from the literature to address the patterns of and climatic effects on the net outcome of plant interactions in natural communities. We found that plant interactions varied among plant performance indicators, interaction types and biomes, yet competition occurred more frequently than facilitation in plant communities worldwide. Unexpectedly, plant interactions showed weak latitudinal pattern and were weakly related to climate. Our study provides a global comprehensive overview of plant interactions, highlighting competition as a fundamental mechanism structuring plant communities worldwide. We suggest that further investigations should focus more on local factors (e.g. microclimate, soil and disturbance) than on macroclimate to identify key environmental determinants of interactions in plant communities.
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