Liana co-occurrence patterns in a temperate rainforest

Authors

  • R.A.J. Blick,

    1. School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand, Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Sydney, Australia
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  • K.C. Burns

    1. School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand
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  • Co-ordinating Editor: Tom Philippi

  • Blick, R.A.J. (corresponding author, rayblick@yahoo.co.nz): School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand, Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Sydney, Australia
    Burns, K.C. (kevin.burns@vuw.ac.nz): School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract

Questions: Are liana–host interactions structured at the community level? Do liana–host interactions differ between species, growth form guilds or habitats?

Location: Otari-Wilton's Bush, on the southern tip of North Island, New Zealand. The forest contains 75 ha of mature and regenerating conifer–broadleaf forest.

Methods: Nine liana species were quantified among 217 trees to test for negative co-occurrence patterns. We also conducted additional analyses within and among compartments embedded in the community-level matrix. Liana and host abundance distributions were assessed across two contrasting habitats.

Results: Community-level analyses revealed negative co-occurrence patterns. Positive, neutral and negative co-occurrence patterns were found among compartments within the community-level matrix. Host species compartments were consistent with randomized expectations, while positive co-occurrence patterns were found within the host species matrix. Negative co-occurrence patterns were found inconsistently among lianas that share the same region of host space, and those that do not.

Conclusions: Overall, results indicate the liana community is structured non-randomly. Liana–host interactions appear to follow an opportunistic growth strategy and interactions are due mostly to habitat partitioning.

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