To study the effects of competition in Mediterranean shrubland regeneration following disturbance, we used a neighborhood approach to assess the influence of mature Rosmarinus officinalis neighbors on the resprouting of Erica multiflora individuals after clipping. Sprout biomass of target plants 2 years after clipping was regressed against various measures of neighbor abundance within a 2 m radius around target E. multiflora individuals in which all vegetation except R. officinalis had been removed. The largest single influence on the biomass of sprouts produced was the previous biomass of the resprouting plant. The abundance of R. officinalis neighbors had a weak but detectable effect on resprouting of E. multiflora. Abundance of neighbors within 60 cm from target plants was the best predictor of regrowth. At this distance, two simple measures of neighbor abundance within the neighborhood, the number of neighbors and the sum of their heights, were significant in accounting for variation in resprouted biomass. None of the combinations of neighbor variables performed significantly better than single variables. The best models accounted for around 24 percent of the variation in resprout biomass. As in other studies, angular dispersion of neighbors never had a significant effect on performance of target plants. The weak but significant response of resprouting to variation in R. officinalis abundance suggests that the intensity of competition in the experiment was low because of the removal of other species.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1998|
- Interspecific competition
- Mediterranean shrubland
- Neighborhood models
- Removal experiment