Ecological Archives E096-182-A1

Zaal Kikvidze, Robin W. Brooker, Bradley J. Butterfield, Ragan M. Callaway, Lohengrin A. Cavieres, Bradley J. Cook, Christopher J. Lortie, Richard Michalet, Francisco I. Pugnaire, Sa Xiao, Fabien Anthelme, Robert G. Björk, Brittany H. Cranston, Rosario G. Gavilán, Róbert Kanka, Emanuele Lingua, Jean-Paul Maalouf, Jalil Noroozi, Rabindra Parajuli, Gareth K. Phoenix, Anya Reid, Wendy M. Ridenour, Christian Rixen, Christian Schöb. 2015. The effects of foundation species on community assembly: a global study on alpine cushion plant communities. Ecology 96:2064–2069. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/14-2443.1

Appendix A. Study sites.

Study sites

We studied 83 alpine plant communities (sampling sites) in North and South America, Europe, Asia and New Zealand, including 40 eudicot and one monocot cushion plant species (Table A1). Data were collected between January 2004 and July 2010. We selected sites where cushions were well-developed and without signs of recent unusual disturbances, and hence considered these communities to be in their advanced stage of successions. For the same reasons we considered these communities nearly “saturated”. At each site, within an area of c. 0.5 × 0.5 km, we selected an area that included sufficient number of plants of each individual nurse cushion species for robust statistical analyses (n = 40 to 120), and all established plants (i.e., no seedlings) growing within these selected cushions were identified to species and their abundance recorded as number of individuals. Cushions are usually roughly elliptical, and so at the majority of sites, we measured the maximum and minimum axes of each cushion to estimate its area. To obtain comparable samples for assessing species richness in surrounding ‘open’ microhabitat (areas not covered by the cushions), areas matching the size of each sampled cushion were surveyed at randomly selected paired points 0.5 m away from each sampled cushion. In those cases where cushion size was not measured (seven sites), a wire hoop was shaped to match the size of the sampled cushion and used to regulate the size of patch sampled in the ‘open’ areas. Again, all established plant individuals within these selected open areas were identified to species and recorded. The percentage cover of cushions and open area was determined at each site along 50 m linear transects. We sampled a mean (± 1 SE) of 81 (± 3) sets of paired cushion and open plots per site. At all sites, the non-cushion species were mostly herbaceous perennials with the small size and prostrate growth typical of alpine species (Körner 2003). In two sites (e.g., central Chilean Andes, Sierra Nevada Spain), the vegetation also contained small prostrate shrubs and annuals that usually grow in open areas. Counting individuals was a simple way of measuring abundance of a given species and we did not deal separately with clonal species but counted its shoots as individuals. The mean density of individuals measured in this way was 13 (± 23 SD) individuals per m², ranging from 1 to 143 individuals per m². At a subset of sites soil samples were collected and soil moisture (20 sites) and soil organic matter content (15 sites) were determined.

Table A1. Study site locations and sampled cushion species.

Country

Cushion species

Latitude

Longitude

Altitude

N

Chile

Azorella monantha

-51.176

-72.848

720

103

Chile

Azorella monantha

-50.824

-73.000

710

47

Chile

Bolax gummiferia

-50.824

-72.998

750

50

Chile

Bolax gummiferia

-50.817

-72.989

920

50

Chile

Azorella monantha

-50.815

-72.992

890

53

New Zealandb

Phyllacne colensoi

-45.752

167.399

1456

79

New Zealandc

Dracophyllum sp.

-45.322

169.208

1678

65

New Zealanda

Raoulia sp.

-43.509

171.544

1518

90

Argentina

Mulinium leptacanthum

-41.268

-71.303

1700

100

Argentina

Oreopolus glacialis

-41.268

-71.303

1700

100

Argentina

Discaria nana

-41.268

-71.303

1700

100

Chile

Azorella trifurcata

-37.463

-71.317

1400

52

Chile

Oreopolus glacialis

-37.459

-71.123

2052

55

Chile

Azorella madreporica

-33.334

-70.247

3258

100

Chile

Laretia acaulis

-33.334

-70.247

3259

100

Chile

Laretia acaulis

-33.329

-70.267

3300

100

Chile

Laretia acaulis

-33.326

-70.283

3000

100

Chile

Azorella madreporica

-33.325

-70.239

3394

100

Chile

Azorella madreporica

-33.319

-70.260

3600

100

Chile

Azorella madreporica

-33.316

-70.236

3625

100

Chile

Adesmia subterranea

-30.418

-70.263

3744

100

Chile

Azorella madreporica

-30.418

-70.263

3744

100

Chile

Adesmia subterranea

-30.394

-70.242

3922

100

Chile

Azorella madreporica

-30.394

-70.242

3922

100

Chile

Picnophyllum bryoides

-22.576

-68.037

4300

100

Ecuador

Pentacalia microdon

-0.656

-78.440

4500

85

Ecuador

Azorella aretioides

-0.472

-78.159

4700

85

Ecuador

Xenophyllum humile

-0.472

-78.158

4700

85

Ecuador

Azorella aretioides

-0.467

-78.167

4550

90

Nepal

Astragalus sp.

28.136

85.344

4265

82

Lebanona

Onobrychis cornuta

33.975

35.848

2222

60

Lebanona

Astragulus zachlensis

33.977

35.848

2223

60

USA

Geum rossii

35.341

-111.684

3650

80

USA

Geum rossii

35.343

-111.682

3800

80

Iran

Astragulus macrosemius

35.894

51.407

3676

80

Spainc

Arenaria tetraquetra ssp. amabilis

36.997

-3.313

3110

100

Spainc

Arenaria tetraquetra ssp. amabilis

37.036

-3.303

2575

100

Spainc

Arenaria tetraquetra ssp. amabilis

37.051

-3.371

3239

100

Spainc

Arenaria tetraquetra ssp. amabilis

37.081

-3.381

2750

85

Spainc

Plantago holosteum

37.081

-3.381

2750

85

USAa

Phlox condensata

37.533

-118.205

3603

100

USAa

Townsendia leptotes

37.550

-118.215

3563

100

USA

Eriogonum gracilipes

37.551

-118.224

3726

80

Chinac

Thylacospermum caespitosum

39.302

96.303

4239

60

Chinac

Rhodiola juparensis

39.355

96.262

3709

70

Chinac

Thylacospermum caespitosum

39.503

96.505

4228

80

USA

Eriogonum umbellatum

40.695

-110.905

3550

80

Spainc

Minuartia recurva

40.800

-3.933

2340

101

Spain

Silene acaulis

42.689

0.646

2318

85

Spain

Saponaria caespitosa

42.690

0.649

2318

93

USA

Silene acaulis

44.969

-109.440

3263

72

USA

Trifolium nanum

44.972

-109.448

3231

28

Switzerlandc

Carex firma

46.423

7.628

2305

82

Switzerlandc

Silene acaulis

46.425

7.629

2297

80

Switzerlanda

Silene acaulis

46.478

9.583

2484

75

Italy

Carex firma

46.487

11.807

2208

90

Italy

Cerastium alpinum

46.502

11.809

2913

91

Italy

Silene acaulis

46.506

12.020

2357

100

Italy

Silene acaulis

46.530

12.016

2473

57

Italy

Minuartia sp.

46.530

12.003

2734

100

USA

Eriogonum ovalium

46.868

-113.964

1232

30

USA

Eriogonum ovalium

46.883

-113.983

1117

30

USA

Antennaria umbrinella

47.078

-112.372

1796

30

USA

Dasiphora fruticosa

48.479

-113.332

2241

78

USA

Silene acaulis

48.479

-113.329

2280

114

USA

Sibbaldia sp.

48.485

-113.322

2290

104

USA

Silene acaulis

48.725

-113.682

2143

80

USA

Silene acaulis

48.780

-113.767

2273

80

USA

Silene acaulis

48.784

-113.767

2515

80

Canada

Silene acaulis

49.051

-120.218

2510

47

Canada

Saxifraga oppositifolia

49.051

-120.218

2510

39

Canada

Silene acaulis

49.057

-120.220

2476

80

Slovakia

Silene acaulis

49.236

20.219

1982

90

Slovakia

Minuartia sedoides

49.236

20.219

1982

32

Canadac

Silene acaulis

50.032

-122.571

2100

61

Canada

Silene acaulis

50.032

-122.571

2100

100

Canadac

Silene acaulis

50.611

-114.976

2516

99

Canada

Silene acaulis

51.209

-122.562

2191

73

Canada

Silene acaulis

57.061

-122.864

1754

81

Canada

Silene acaulis

57.061

-122.866

1757

70

Canada

Silene acaulis

57.063

-122.865

1747

62

Sweden

Silene acaulis

68.357

18.499

1050

50

Norwayc

Silene acaulis

78.912

12.017

30

74

a (only soil moisture data), b (only SOM data), c (soil moisture and SOM data)


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