Alexander J. F. Fergus

Learn More
Crop rotation schemes are believed to work by preventing specialist soil-borne pests from depressing the future yields of similar crops. In ecology, such negative plant-soil feedbacks may be viewed as a type of Janzen-Connell effect, which promotes species coexistence and diversity by preventing the same species from repeatedly occupying a particular site.(More)
Alien species can be a major threat to ecological communities, but we do not know why some community types allow the entry of many more alien species than do others. Here, for the first time, we suggest that evolutionary diversity inherent to the constituent species of a community may determine its present receptiveness to alien species. Using recent large(More)
Many studies have examined invasion resistance in plant communities, but few have explored the mechanisms of invasion and how subsequent community reassembly affects community functioning. Using natural dispersal and deliberate seed addition into grassland communities with different compositional and richness histories, we show that invaders establish in a(More)
The importance of competition between similar species in driving community assembly is much debated. Recently, phylogenetic patterns in species composition have been investigated to help resolve this question: phylogenetic clustering is taken to imply environmental filtering, and phylogenetic overdispersion to indicate limiting similarity between species.(More)
In order to predict which ecosystem functions are most at risk from biodiversity loss, meta-analyses have generalised results from biodiversity experiments over different sites and ecosystem types. In contrast, comparing the strength of biodiversity effects across a large number of ecosystem processes measured in a single experiment permits more direct(More)
  • 1