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The Effects of Mycorrhizae and Soil Biota Feedback on the Outcome of Plant Competition

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dc.contributor.advisor Maherali, Hafiz Stanescu, Sabina 2012-09-05T17:13:05Z 2012-09-05T17:13:05Z 2012-08 2012-08-28 2012-09-05
dc.description.abstract The difference in the ability of plants to obtain resources has been used to predict the competition outcomes. Competitive interactions between plants can be influenced by trophic interactions. If mycorrhizae increase the growth of inferior competitors, then it can prevent competitive exclusion. I examined the effect of mycorrhizae on competitive interactions and found that inferior competitors had slow growth in the absence of mycorrhizae, but greater growth with mycorrhizae. By providing greater growth responses to inferior versus superior competitors, mycorrhizae promoted coexistence. In a separate experiment, I looked at the effects of whole soil biota on competitive ability. Coexistence can occur if dominant competitors experience negative feedback and or if inferior competitors experience positive feedback. I examined Plantago lanceolata L. specific feedback effects on competitive ability of 21 co-occurring species. I found that feedback effects did not affect hierarchies, and that positive feedback did not improve species competitive ability. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council), University of Guelph, Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship for Science and Technology en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject mycorrhizae en_US
dc.subject plant competition en_US
dc.subject plant-soil feedback en_US
dc.subject hierarchies en_US
dc.subject coexistence en_US
dc.subject mutualists en_US
dc.subject symbiosis en_US
dc.subject pathogens en_US
dc.subject soil community en_US
dc.subject resource uptake en_US
dc.subject phytometer en_US
dc.title The Effects of Mycorrhizae and Soil Biota Feedback on the Outcome of Plant Competition 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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