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Community genetics: resource addition has opposing effects on genetic and species diversity in a 150-year experiment

Silvertown, Jonathan (2009). Community genetics: resource addition has opposing effects on genetic and species diversity in a 150-year experiment. Ecology Letters, 12(2) pp. 165–170.

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We used the Park Grass Experiment, begun in 1856, to test alternative hypotheses about the relationship between genetic diversity and plant species diversity. The niche variation hypothesis predicts that populations with few interspecific competitors and hence broader niches are expected to contain greater genetic diversity. The coexistence hypothesis predicts that genetic diversity within species favours coexistence among species and therefore species and genetic diversity should be positively correlated. Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers were used to measure the genetic diversity of populations of Anthoxanthum odoratum growing in 10 plots of differing species richness that lie along resource and soil pH gradients. Genetic diversity in A. odoratum was positively correlated with the number of resources added to a plot, but not correlated with species richness. However, separate analyses have shown a negative correlation between resource addition and species richness at Park Grass and elsewhere, so genetic and species diversity appear to respond in opposite directions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS
ISSN: 1461-023X
Keywords: AFLP; Anthoxanthum odoratum; coexistence; community genetics; genetic diversity; niche variation hypothesis; Park Grass Experiment; resource limitation; species diversity;
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Environment, Earth and Ecosystems
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 13120
Depositing User: Jonathan Silvertown
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2009 10:42
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2016 09:26
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