Consistent spatial patterns across several plant communities within a region indicate that the same processes may be acting on Andean deserts and semideserts

Ramiro Pablo López, Freddy Zenteno-Ruiz, Natalio Roque-Marca, Laura Moya, David Villalba, Sergio Valdivia, Daniel Larrea-Alcázar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Questions: Spatial pattern analysis may be used to derive hypotheses on the processes that shape plant communities. Do different mature semidesert communities exhibit the same major spatial patterns, suggesting that similar processes shape them?. Location: Nine localities in the Bolivian Andes. Methods: We mapped all woody individuals at each locality. We performed uni-, bi-, and multivariate spatial analyses of nine Andean, mature semiarid plant communities to test for similarity in spatial patterns. Results: We found that the nine communities exhibited, in most of the main spatial pattern attributes, close similarities (community aggregation, importance of plant interactions, life form differences, etc.). Some peculiarities were likely due to differences in life form or site history. Conclusions: At least for Andean semiarid communities, the complete analysis of a representative plot conveys reliable information on spatial relationships and, hence, on potential underlying mechanisms. This shows that the use of 1–2 representative plots can be used to extrapolate to similar communities within a given region. Our results can be used as a plausible hypothesis to be tested in other zones of the planet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-193
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding information This study was funded by The International Foundation for Science (IFS D/4846-2, awarded to Sergio Valdivia). Stephanie Torrico, Óscar Ayala, Adilén Fernández, Nayra Antezana and Emmilce Morillas participated in part of the field work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 International Association for Vegetation Science

Keywords

  • Andes
  • competition
  • deserts
  • facilitation
  • null models
  • spatial patterns

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