Life at the edge, cooperation in Antarctica



In a current article in the Journal of Vegetation Science, Molina-Montenegro and colleagues extend the study of plant–plant interactions on stress gradients to extremes – the moss and lichen-dominated communities of Antarctica. They found that the importance of facilitation at this extreme end of a ‘cold–harsh continuum’ was similar to that reported at the extreme ends of alpine gradients around the world. In other words, in contrast to recent theory and case studies in other systems, facilitative effects did not wane in extremely stressful conditions.