From Spain to Chile: environmental filters and success of herbaceous species in Mediterranean-climate regions



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Martín Forés, Irene and Sánchez Jardón, Laura and Acosta Gallo, Belén and Pozo Lira, Alejandro del and Castro Parga, Isabel and Miguel Garcinuño, José Manuel de and Ovalle, Carlos and Casado González, Miguel Ángel (2015) From Spain to Chile: environmental filters and success of herbaceous species in Mediterranean-climate regions. Biological Invasions, 17 (5). pp. 1425-1438. ISSN 1387-3547, ESSN: 1573-1464

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In central Chile, many exotic species associated with cereal culture and livestock activities were introduced during Spanish colonization. Nowadays, Chilean semi-natural grasslands are a mixture of native species and exotics that mainly originated in the Mediterranean Basin. The establishment and persistence of exotics (i.e. naturalization) can be due to abiotic (climate and soil properties) and biotic (interaction between plants) factors. We assess the importance of these environmental factors as filters that have promoted/ limited the successful naturalization of Spanish species in Chile. Fifteen sites distributed throughout a wide range of Mediterranean climatic conditions, with similar geomorphology and land-use, were selected in both Chile and Spain. At each site we recorded a broad set of soil and climate variables as well as plant species richness during two consecutive years. In Chile, species were classified as natives or exotics whereas in Spain species were classified as colonizers (species that have been naturalized in Chile) or exclusives (only present in Spain).Species richness was higher in Spain (229 species) than in Chile (152), the latter with a high proportion (almost 50 %) of exotics. Different environmental factors affected species richness in each Mediterranean region. In Spain, species classified as colonizers were weakly related to a combination of soil and climate properties, while in Chile the number of exotic species was highly related with climate conditions (especially water availability). Lack of association between native and exotics pecies richness indicated that biotic filters (i.e. species competition) are less important than abiotic ones in transcontinental naturalization in Chile.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Exotic species; Mediterranean grasslands; Native species; Precipitation; Species richness; Transcontinental naturalization; Chile
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Botany
Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
ID Code:41811
Deposited On:14 Mar 2017 16:06
Last Modified:15 Mar 2017 10:05

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