University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences


Experiment 238 - Investigating patterns of habitat specialization in fifteen co-occurring willow and poplar species.

Thirteen willow (Salix) species occur in southeastern Minnesota and often co-occur within the same wetlands. This high local diversity is challenging to explain since closely related species are often functionally similar and density-dependent interactions such as competition and susceptibility to pests and pathogens should limit their co-occurrence. However, if willow species are partitioning resources, or if they are phylogenetically structured so that closely related species rarely co-occur, then the impact of these density-dependent processes could be reduced. In this study, I examined the role of niche partitioning in maintaining local willow diversity by documenting species distributions in plots across a water availability gradient and comparing species physiology in the field and greenhouse. By taking a phylogenetic approach, I also investigated whether willow communities exhibit phylogenetic community structure and whether there is evidence for environmental filtering.

Methods for e238


Dataset IDTitleRange of Years (# years with data)
aave238Depth to the water table measurements and soil analysis for the field plots2008-2008 (1 year)
aare238Functional traits measured in a greenhouse common garden2009-2009 (1 year)
aawe238Functional traits measured under field conditions in native populations2009-2009 (1 year)
aaoe238Growth, gas exchange and hydraulic conductivity of greenhouse grown willows under pre-drought conditions2006-2006 (1 year)
aaue238Sequences of the nuclear gene ADH for thirteen species of willows and two poplars2010-2010 (1 year)
aaqe238Total basal area of all willow and poplar species present in field plots2008-2008 (1 year)