Resource pulses, species interactions, and diversity maintenance in arid and semi-arid environments

Peter Chesson, Renate L E Gebauer, Susan Schwinning, Nancy Huntly, Kerstin Wiegand, Morgan S K Ernest, Anna Sher, Ariel Novoplansky, Jake F. Weltzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

428 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arid environments are characterized by limited and variable rainfall that supplies resources in pulses. Resource pulsing is a special form of environmental variation, and the general theory of coexistence in variable environments suggests specific mechanisms by which rainfall variability might contribute to the maintenance of high species diversity in arid ecosystems. In this review, we discuss physiological, morphological, and life-history traits that facilitate plant survival and growth in strongly water-limited variable environments, outlining how species differences in these traits may promote diversity. Our analysis emphasizes that the variability of pulsed environments does not reduce the importance of species interactions in structuring communities, but instead provides axes of ecological differentiation between species that facilitate their coexistence. Pulses of rainfall also influence higher trophic levels and entire food webs. Better understanding of how rainfall affects the diversity, species composition, and dynamics of arid environments can contribute to solving environmental problems stemming from land use and global climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-253
Number of pages18
JournalOecologia
Volume141
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

dry environmental conditions
arid environment
rain
rainfall
resource
coexistence
species diversity
life history trait
interspecific variation
trophic level
food webs
food web
global climate
land use
life history
climate change
ecosystems
ecosystem
water

Keywords

  • Coexistence
  • Environmental variability
  • Precipitation
  • Relative nonlinearity
  • Storage effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Chesson, P., Gebauer, R. L. E., Schwinning, S., Huntly, N., Wiegand, K., Ernest, M. S. K., ... Weltzin, J. F. (2004). Resource pulses, species interactions, and diversity maintenance in arid and semi-arid environments. Oecologia, 141(2), 236-253. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-004-1551-1

Resource pulses, species interactions, and diversity maintenance in arid and semi-arid environments. / Chesson, Peter; Gebauer, Renate L E; Schwinning, Susan; Huntly, Nancy; Wiegand, Kerstin; Ernest, Morgan S K; Sher, Anna; Novoplansky, Ariel; Weltzin, Jake F.

In: Oecologia, Vol. 141, No. 2, 10.2004, p. 236-253.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chesson, P, Gebauer, RLE, Schwinning, S, Huntly, N, Wiegand, K, Ernest, MSK, Sher, A, Novoplansky, A & Weltzin, JF 2004, 'Resource pulses, species interactions, and diversity maintenance in arid and semi-arid environments', Oecologia, vol. 141, no. 2, pp. 236-253. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-004-1551-1
Chesson, Peter ; Gebauer, Renate L E ; Schwinning, Susan ; Huntly, Nancy ; Wiegand, Kerstin ; Ernest, Morgan S K ; Sher, Anna ; Novoplansky, Ariel ; Weltzin, Jake F. / Resource pulses, species interactions, and diversity maintenance in arid and semi-arid environments. In: Oecologia. 2004 ; Vol. 141, No. 2. pp. 236-253.
@article{bee6abcb19a0489d9dc239e98f4379a7,
title = "Resource pulses, species interactions, and diversity maintenance in arid and semi-arid environments",
abstract = "Arid environments are characterized by limited and variable rainfall that supplies resources in pulses. Resource pulsing is a special form of environmental variation, and the general theory of coexistence in variable environments suggests specific mechanisms by which rainfall variability might contribute to the maintenance of high species diversity in arid ecosystems. In this review, we discuss physiological, morphological, and life-history traits that facilitate plant survival and growth in strongly water-limited variable environments, outlining how species differences in these traits may promote diversity. Our analysis emphasizes that the variability of pulsed environments does not reduce the importance of species interactions in structuring communities, but instead provides axes of ecological differentiation between species that facilitate their coexistence. Pulses of rainfall also influence higher trophic levels and entire food webs. Better understanding of how rainfall affects the diversity, species composition, and dynamics of arid environments can contribute to solving environmental problems stemming from land use and global climate change.",
keywords = "Coexistence, Environmental variability, Precipitation, Relative nonlinearity, Storage effect",
author = "Peter Chesson and Gebauer, {Renate L E} and Susan Schwinning and Nancy Huntly and Kerstin Wiegand and Ernest, {Morgan S K} and Anna Sher and Ariel Novoplansky and Weltzin, {Jake F.}",
year = "2004",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1007/s00442-004-1551-1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "141",
pages = "236--253",
journal = "Oecologia",
issn = "0029-8549",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Resource pulses, species interactions, and diversity maintenance in arid and semi-arid environments

AU - Chesson, Peter

AU - Gebauer, Renate L E

AU - Schwinning, Susan

AU - Huntly, Nancy

AU - Wiegand, Kerstin

AU - Ernest, Morgan S K

AU - Sher, Anna

AU - Novoplansky, Ariel

AU - Weltzin, Jake F.

PY - 2004/10

Y1 - 2004/10

N2 - Arid environments are characterized by limited and variable rainfall that supplies resources in pulses. Resource pulsing is a special form of environmental variation, and the general theory of coexistence in variable environments suggests specific mechanisms by which rainfall variability might contribute to the maintenance of high species diversity in arid ecosystems. In this review, we discuss physiological, morphological, and life-history traits that facilitate plant survival and growth in strongly water-limited variable environments, outlining how species differences in these traits may promote diversity. Our analysis emphasizes that the variability of pulsed environments does not reduce the importance of species interactions in structuring communities, but instead provides axes of ecological differentiation between species that facilitate their coexistence. Pulses of rainfall also influence higher trophic levels and entire food webs. Better understanding of how rainfall affects the diversity, species composition, and dynamics of arid environments can contribute to solving environmental problems stemming from land use and global climate change.

AB - Arid environments are characterized by limited and variable rainfall that supplies resources in pulses. Resource pulsing is a special form of environmental variation, and the general theory of coexistence in variable environments suggests specific mechanisms by which rainfall variability might contribute to the maintenance of high species diversity in arid ecosystems. In this review, we discuss physiological, morphological, and life-history traits that facilitate plant survival and growth in strongly water-limited variable environments, outlining how species differences in these traits may promote diversity. Our analysis emphasizes that the variability of pulsed environments does not reduce the importance of species interactions in structuring communities, but instead provides axes of ecological differentiation between species that facilitate their coexistence. Pulses of rainfall also influence higher trophic levels and entire food webs. Better understanding of how rainfall affects the diversity, species composition, and dynamics of arid environments can contribute to solving environmental problems stemming from land use and global climate change.

KW - Coexistence

KW - Environmental variability

KW - Precipitation

KW - Relative nonlinearity

KW - Storage effect

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=6044260347&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=6044260347&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00442-004-1551-1

DO - 10.1007/s00442-004-1551-1

M3 - Article

C2 - 15069635

AN - SCOPUS:6044260347

VL - 141

SP - 236

EP - 253

JO - Oecologia

JF - Oecologia

SN - 0029-8549

IS - 2

ER -