Evol Ecol Res 5: 529-548 (2003)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Competition–colonization trade-off between perennial plants: exclusion of the rare species, hysteresis effects and the robustness of co-existence under replacement competition

Éva Kisdi* and Stefan A.H. Geritz

Department of Mathematics, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: eva.kisdi@utu.fi


We consider a simple model of two species competing for the available living sites with Poisson-distributed number of arrivals, and assume that juveniles of one species are competitively superior to the juveniles of the other species but established adults cannot be displaced by colonizing propagules of either species (replacement competition). We find that, in addition to protected co-existence by the competition–colonization trade-off, the two species may also co-exist in an unprotected manner (i.e. such that a single-species equilibrium is also stable), and the rare species may be excluded and the common species preserved regardless of which of the two species is rare. In the case of unprotected co-existence, a small change in the environment (e.g. in site density) can cause the abrupt extinction of a species, with no advance warning from its density approaching zero. To restore biodiversity, a substantial change, or (if exclusion of the rare species also occurs) a more complicated non-monotonous change in the environment, is necessary. We investigate the robustness of the model with respect to introducing seed banks, changing the degree of competitive asymmetry and assuming partial displacement of adults by juveniles.

Keywords: asymmetric competition, colonization, displacement competition, fugitive co-existence, hysteresis, perennial plants, replacement competition, safe site model, seed bank.

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