Please wait a minute...
Journal of Arid Land
Research Articles     
Plant-to-plant direct competition for belowground resource in an overlapping depletion zone
Amit Chakraborty, BaiLian Li
1 Ecological Complexity and Modeling Laboratory, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124, USA; 2 Center for Conservation Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0334, USA
Download:   PDF(639KB)
Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      

Abstract  In response to limited availability of soil resources in basal root zone, plant extends its roots into nearby resource-rich zones to fulfill essential resource demands for survival and reproduction. This root proliferation into that enriched zones occupied by other plants constitutes interplant overlapping rooting zones and thereby the overlapping depletion zones, causing reduction in resource uptake by neighboring plants. By incorporating this mechanism into the classic resource competition model, we study interplant direct competition through their rooting system in an overlapping depletion zone. The model results indicate an extension of Tilman’s R* rule that has already been proved true when plants compete indirectly through their effect on shared resources. The results reveal that plant’s direct competitive ability (i.e., the ability to occupy an overlapping depletion zone by excluding others) can be characterized by its R*-value, where a best competitor having lowest R*-value excludes others from an overlapping zone and occupies the zone by depleting the resource level to the lowest as in its non-overlapping depletion zone. By analyzing the model, we find a suite of traits that confers R* variation among directly competing plants. This suite of traits would be a useful proxy measure for R* that do not necessarily require to establish equilibrium field monoculture—a requirement for R* measurement in the field.

Received: 03 September 2009      Published: 09 November 2009
Corresponding Authors: BaiLian Li     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Amit Chakraborty, BaiLian Li. Plant-to-plant direct competition for belowground resource in an overlapping depletion zone. Journal of Arid Land, 2009, 1(1): 9-15.

URL:     OR

No related articles found!