Bradley J. Butterfield

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Biotic interactions can shape phylogenetic community structure (PCS). However, we do not know how the asymmetric effects of foundation species on communities extend to effects on PCS. We assessed PCS of alpine plant communities around the world, both within cushion plant foundation species and adjacent open ground, and compared the effects of foundation(More)
Interactions among species determine local-scale diversity, but local interactions are thought to have minor effects at larger scales. However, quantitative comparisons of the importance of biotic interactions relative to other drivers are rarely made at larger scales. Using a data set spanning 78 sites and five continents, we assessed the relative(More)
Here, we incorporate facilitation into trait-based community assembly theory by testing two mutually compatible facilitative mechanisms: changes in the environmental filter, causing either an increase in the range of trait values (i.e. a range expansion effect) and/or a shift in trait distributions (i.e. a range shift effect); and changes in trait spacing,(More)
Plant communities vary dramatically in the number and relative abundance of species that exhibit facilitative interactions, which contributes substantially to variation in community structure and dynamics. Predicting species’ responses to neighbors based on readily measurable functional traits would provide important insight into the factors that structure(More)
Ecological processes of low-productivity ecosystems have long been considered to be driven by abiotic controls with biotic interactions playing an insignificant role. However, existing studies present conflicting evidence concerning the roles of these factors, in part due to the short temporal extent of most data sets and inability to test indirect effects(More)
One of ecology's grand challenges is developing general rules to explain and predict highly complex systems. Understanding and predicting ecological processes from species' traits has been considered a 'Holy Grail' in ecology. Plant functional traits are increasingly being used to develop mechanistic models that can predict how ecological communities will(More)
The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice,(More)
Facilitative interactions are defined as positive effects of one species on another, but bidirectional feedbacks may be positive, neutral, or negative. Understanding the bidirectional nature of these interactions is a fundamental prerequisite for the assessment of the potential evolutionary consequences of facilitation. In a global study combining(More)
Facilitative effects of some species on others are a major driver of biodiversity. These positive effects of a benefactor on its beneficiary can result in negative feedback effects of the beneficiary on the benefactor and reduced fitness of the benefactor. However, in contrast to the wealth of studies on facilitative effects in different environments, we(More)
Land management agencies are increasing the use of native plant materials for vegetation treatments to restore ecosystem function and maintain natural ecological integrity. This shift toward the use of natives has highlighted a need to increase the diversity of materials available. A key problem is agreeing on how many, and which, new accessions should be(More)