Disturbance and the (surprising?) role of ecosystem engineering in explaining spatial patterns of non-native plant establishment

Meredith Root-Bernstein, Cesar Muñoz & Juan Armesto
The Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis is widely considered to be wrong but is rarely tested against alternative hypotheses. It predicts that soil disturbances and herbivory have identical impacts on species richness via identical mechanisms (reduction in biomass and in competition). An alternative hypothesis is that the specific traits of disturbance agents (small mammals) and plants differentially affects richness or abundance of different plant groups. We tested these hypotheses on a degu (Octodon degus) colony in central...
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