Journal article

Testing the niche-breadth-range-size hypothesis: habitat specialization vs. performance in Australian alpine daisies

Megan J Hirst, Philippa C Griffin, Jason P Sexton, Ary A Hoffmann

ECOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2017


Relatively common species within a clade are expected to perform well across a wider range of conditions than their rarer relatives, yet experimental tests of this "niche-breadth-range-size" hypothesis remain surprisingly scarce. Rarity may arise due to trade-offs between specialization and performance across a wide range of environments. Here we use common garden and reciprocal transplant experiments to test the niche-breadth-range-size hypothesis, focusing on four common and three rare endemic alpine daisies (Brachyscome spp.) from the Australian Alps. We used three experimental contexts: (1) alpine reciprocal seedling experiment, a test of seedling survival and growth in three alpine habi..

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Awarded by U.S. National Science Foundation

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Neville Walsh (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria) for his generous assistance in the site selections at BHP and colleagues of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the Hoffmann and Hill Lab (Bio21). Thanks to Rachel Slatyer for the site map and Michael Nash for his assistance in setting up the experiments. M. J. Hirst thanks the Department of Sustainability and Environment for granting a research permit under the provisions of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the National Parks Act 1975 (Permit No: 10006030). M. J. Hirst thanks the Holsworth Wildlife Endowment-Equity Trustees Charitable Foundation, the Hansjorg Eichler Research Fund, and the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN). J. P. Sexton was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (award no. 1003009) during this research.