Ilia Ferzoco publishes in Journal of Animal Ecology
Ilia Ferzoco, PhD student, from McCauley Lab, published in Journal of Animal Ecology:
Breaking down the components of the competition-colonization trade-off: New insights into its role in diverse systems
Ecological communities are shaped by a number of processes occurring locally and/or regionally. In order to understand patterns of biodiversity, integrating our understanding of how processes at various scales interact in a variety of systems is essential. Performance trade-offs between competition and colonization can be an important mechanism facilitating regional coexistence of competitors via the competition-colonization (CC) trade-off. However, empirical evidence for this trade-off is mixed, raising questions about the extent to which it shapes diverse ecological communities. Here we develop a conceptual trait-based framework that outlines how dispersal mode and type of competitor may interact to shape this trade-off at the stage of dispersal and establishment in a variety of systems, in order to orient effective empirical tests of the CC trade-off. This framework links traits underlying competitive dominance and dispersal ability in systems that range from passive to active dispersal and measuring competitive response vs competitive effect. We argue that relationships between species traits and competitive or dispersal abilities should depend on the competitive contexts and dispersal scenarios, and that recognition of these specific contexts will aid in guiding empirical investigations of the CC trade-off. The proposed framework is designed to provide common ground for researchers working in different systems in order to prompt more effective assessment of this performance trade-off and its role in shaping community structure.