Nomenclature: Tutin et al. (1964–1980) for vascular plants; Hladun & Llimona (2002–2007) and Breuss (1996) for lichens.
Are soil lichen communities structured by biotic interactions? A null model analysis
Version of Record online: 29 JAN 2009
2008 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 19, Issue 2, pages 261–266, April 2008
How to Cite
Maestre, F. T., Escolar, C., Martínez, I. and Escudero, A. (2008), Are soil lichen communities structured by biotic interactions? A null model analysis. Journal of Vegetation Science, 19: 261–266. doi: 10.3170/2007-8-18366
- Issue online: 29 JAN 2009
- Version of Record online: 29 JAN 2009
- Received 19 March 2007; Accepted 26 July 2007
- Biological soil crust;
- Community assembly rule;
- Null model analysis;
- Species co-occurrence
Question: Are soil lichen communities structured by biotic interactions?
Location: Gypsum outcrops located next to Belmonte del Tajo, central Spain.
Methods: We sampled a total of 68 (50 cm × 50 cm) plots in gypsum outcrops from central Spain. Each plot was divided into 100 (5 cm × 5 cm) sampling quadrats, and the presence of all lichen species in every quadrat was recorded (6800 quadrats in total). We used two realistic null models to generate random communities unstructured by biotic interactions, and used them to test the hypothesis that soil lichen species co-occur less often than expected by chance.
Results: We found fewer species combinations and less co-occurrence than expected by chance. However, the latter result was dependent on the null model selected. The number of checkerboard pairs did not differ significantly from the null expectation.
Conclusions: Overall, our results suggest that gypsiferous soil lichen communities are structured by competitive interactions. They are consistent with studies conducted with a wide variety of taxa, and fill a gap in our knowledge of the factors driving the small-scale distribution of these important organisms.