Ecology and Evolution | VOL. 12
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Ecoregion and community structure influences on the foliar elemental niche of balsam fir ( Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) and white birch ( Betula papyrifera Marshall)

Publication Date Sep 1, 2022

Abstract

Changes in foliar elemental niche properties, defined by axes of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) concentrations, reflect how species allocate resources under different environmental conditions. For instance, elemental niches may differ in response to large-scale latitudinal temperature and precipitation regimes that occur between ecoregions and small-scale differences in nutrient dynamics based on species co-occurrences at a community level. At a species level, we compared foliar elemental niche hypervolumes for balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) and white birch (Betula papyrifera Marshall) between a northern and southern ecoregion. At a community level, we grouped our focal species using plot data into conspecific (i.e., only one focal species is present) and heterospecific groups (i.e., both focal species are present) and compared their foliar elemental concentrations under these community conditions across, within, and between these ecoregions. Between ecoregions at the species and community level, we expected niche hypervolumes to be different and driven by regional biophysical effects on foliar N and P concentrations. At the community level, we expected niche hypervolume displacement and expansion patterns for fir and birch, respectively-patterns that reflect their resource strategy. At the species level, foliar elemental niche hypervolumes between ecoregions differed significantly for fir (F=14.591, p-value=.001) and birch (F=75.998, p-value=.001) with higher foliar N and P in the northern ecoregion. A...

Concepts

Niche Hypervolume Niche Expansion Northern Ecoregion Focal Species Community Level Differences In Nutrient Dynamics Foliar Elemental Concentrations Heterospecific Groups Biogeographical Differences Biophysical Differences

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