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Print version ISSN 1405-2768


MONTEJO-MAYO, Wilber et al. Interactions between dominant hydrophytic species of the wetlands of western Mexico mediated by fire and nitrate concentration. Polibotánica [online]. 2015, n.40, pp.153-161. ISSN 1405-2768.

Wetland plant community dynamics are strongly driven by abiotic factors such as nutrient levels and fire. In wetlands where invasive species are present assessing the role of abiotic factors in plant-plant interactions is fundamental for both understanding community dynamics and management. In this study the interaction between pairs of species was quantified between one non-invasive (Schoenoplectus americanus), one that can become overdominant after human disturbances (Typha domingensis) and one that has an invasive lineage present in North America (Phragmites australis), growing under different nitrate concentrations and subjected to fire. All species responded by increasing growth to nitrate addition, but depending on the species, the response was significant for different variables. Phragmites for height and root biomass, Typha for aerial and root biomass and Schoenoplectus for all variables. Interactions between species were complex and differed between sampling years. For the first year, only the effect of Typha on itself was significant. For the second year, the effect of Typha was negative on Phrangmites, the effect of Schoenoplectus was negative on itself and, the effect of Typha and Phragmites was negative on Typha. The effect of fire was significant for Phragmites and Schoenoplectus, not burned plant were taller. Interactions between plants were altered by fire, the presence of Schoenoplectus benefited the performance of Typha, and the opposite was also true. For early stages of these species growth, the strongest competition occurs between the native species, allowing the invasive to mostly respond to nitrate levels, and fire have a strong effect also on the interactions between the natives and not with the invasive.

Keywords : wetland; negative interactions; management; nutrients; ecological restoration.

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