Data from: Species colonisation, not competitive exclusion, drives community overdispersion over long-term succession

Shao-Peng Li, Marc W. Cadotte, Scott J. Meiners, Zheng-Shuang Hua, Lin Jiang & Wen-Sheng Shu
Ecological communities often transition from phylogenetic and functional clustering to overdispersion over succession as judged by space-for-time substitution studies. Such a pattern has been generally attributed to the increase in competitive exclusion of closely related species with similar traits through time, although colonisation and extinction have rarely been examined. Using 44 years of uninterrupted old-field succession in New Jersey, USA, we confirmed that phylogenetic and functional clustering decreased as succession unfolded, but the transition was...
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