Competition at the range boundary in the slimy salamander: using reciprocal transplants for studies on the role of biotic interactions in spatial distributions
Article first published online: 2 SEP 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 78, Issue 1, pages 52–62, January 2009
How to Cite
Cunningham, H. R., Rissler, L. J. and Apodaca, J. J. (2009), Competition at the range boundary in the slimy salamander: using reciprocal transplants for studies on the role of biotic interactions in spatial distributions. Journal of Animal Ecology, 78: 52–62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01468.x
- Issue published online: 11 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 2 SEP 2008
- Received 19 November 2007; accepted 29 July 2008; Handling Editor: Karl Cottenie
- contact zone;
- geographical distributions;
- 1Determining the factors that influence the distribution of species has been a longstanding goal in the field of ecology. New techniques such as ecological niche modelling have the potential to aid in addressing many broad questions in ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavioural ecology.
- 2This study combines broad-scale ecological niche models with fine-scaled studies of biotic interactions to examine how abiotic and biotic interactions affect the spatial distribution of the terrestrial salamander species Plethodon glutinosus (northern slimy salamander), in a potential contact zone shared with Plethodon mississippi (Mississippi slimy salamander).
- 3The core habitat in the interior portion of the range of P. glutinosus and the contact zone are distributed in unique environmental niche space.
- 4The form of competition, inter- or intraspecific, significantly affected mass loss of adult salamanders. Salamanders lost more mass when interacting with a heterospecific.
- 5Abiotic conditions strongly influenced the impact of competition on salamanders. Under stressful environmental conditions at the field site located in the contact zone, salamanders lost more mass than at the field site located in the interior of the range.
- 6Furthermore, adult salamanders from range-edge populations and core populations (from the interior of the range) differed in their respective abilities to compete under the abiotic conditions in the contact zone.