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The effects of clonal integration on the responses of plant species to habitat loss and habitat fragmentation

Zhixia Ying, Gang Ge and Yongjie Liu

Ecological Modelling, 2018, vol. 384, issue C, 290-295

Abstract: Exploring the mechanism of plant species persistence in fragmented landscapes has already become a major issue in spatial ecology. Most of previous models predicted that habitat loss and fragmentation negatively impact plant species persistence, while empirical studies found diverse responses of plant species to habitat fragmentation, suggesting that some critical process may be overlooked in these models. Clonal species has the ability to well explore the resources under habitat fragmentation via clonal integration. However, responses of such species to habitat fragmentation have rarely been considered, especially in the aforementioned models. Here we developed a pair approximation model by considering clonal integration to explore the underlying mechanism of species’ diverse responses to habitat fragmentation. The persistence of global dispersers (i.e. species with seed reproduction) depends on habitat loss not habitat fragmentation, whereas the persistence of local dispersers (i.e. species with clonal reproduction) or mixed dispersers (i.e. species with both seed and clonal reproduction) is influenced by both habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. Furthermore, habitat fragmentation shows diverse effects (i.e., positive, neutral or negative effects) on the persistence of local dispersers or mixed dispersers via clonal integration. Our results provide theoretical guidance for species conservation, which highlights the crucial role of species’ ecological traits in response to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Keywords: Pair approximation model; Extinction threshold; Habitat loss; Habitat fragmentation; Clonal integration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:384:y:2018:i:c:p:290-295