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An Investigation into the Effects of Neighbour Trait Similarity on Competition in Arabidopsis thaliana

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dc.contributor.advisor MacDougall, Andrew Anthony, Drew 2017-09-07T19:47:56Z 2017-09-07T19:47:56Z 2017-09 2017-09-01 2017-09-07
dc.description.abstract Competition is one of the more important forces shaping biological communities in nature. Although much research has investigated how traits influence competition, uncertainty remains concerning the importance of competitor trait similarity on competition. An experiment was conducted using Arabidopsis thaliana natural accessions expressing varying degrees of similarity in several traits to investigate the influences of trait similarity, intra- vs. inter-accession interactions, and nutrient availability on competition. Results showed that more similar competitors did not experience more intense competition. Additionally, intra-accession competition was not consistently stronger than inter-accession competition. I found that trait differences in size and growth rate among accessions were better predictors of competitive outcome than competitor trait similarity. I also found that increasing soil nutrients had little effect on competition beyond increasing overall plant size and fruit production. This study highlights the capacity for ecological systems to deviate away from what might be predicted by generalized theory. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship CBS Master's Award, QEIIGSST en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Arabidopsis thaliana en_US
dc.subject Competition en_US
dc.subject Limiting Similarity en_US
dc.subject Community Ecology en_US
dc.subject Intraspecific competition en_US
dc.subject Functional traits en_US
dc.subject Plant ecology en_US
dc.title An Investigation into the Effects of Neighbour Trait Similarity on Competition in Arabidopsis thaliana en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Integrative Biology en_US Master of Science en_US Department of Integrative Biology en_US
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