Comparative Population Dynamics of Two Closely Related Species Differing in Ploidy Level

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BACKGROUND: Many studies compare the population dynamics of single species within multiple habitat types, while much less is known about the differences in population dynamics in closely related species in the same habitat. Additionally, comparisons of the effect of habitat types and species are largely missing.<br /><br />METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We estimated the importance of the habitat type and species for population dynamics of plants. Specifically, we compared the dynamics of two closely related species, the allotetraploid species Anthericum liliago and the diploid species Anthericum ramosum, occurring in the same habitat type. We also compared the dynamics of A. ramosum in two contrasting habitats. We examined three populations per species and habitat type. The results showed that single life history traits as well as the mean population dynamics of A. liliago and A. ramosum from the same habitat type were more similar than the population dynamics of A. ramosum from the two contrasting habitats.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that when transferring knowledge regarding population dynamics between populations, we need to take habitat conditions into account, as these conditions appear to be more important than the species involved (ploidy level). However, the two species differ significantly in their overall population growth rates, indicating that the ploidy level has an effect on species performance. In contrast to what has been suggested by previous studies, we observed a higher population growth rate in the diploid species. This is in agreement with the wider range of habitats occupied by the diploid species.




Černá, L., & Münzbergová, Z. (2013). Comparative Population Dynamics of Two Closely Related Species Differing in Ploidy Level. PLoS ONE, 8(10).

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