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Although the impacts of exotic plant invasions on community structure and ecosystem processes are well appreciated, the pathways or mechanisms that underlie these impacts are poorly understood. Better exploration of these processes is essential to understanding why exotic plants impact only certain systems, and why only some invaders have large impacts.(More)
Natural populations consist of phenotypically diverse individuals that exhibit variation in their demographic parameters and intra- and inter-specific interactions. Recent experimental work indicates that such variation can have significant ecological effects. However, ecological models typically disregard this variation and focus instead on trait means and(More)
Ecological communities characteristically contain a wide diversity of species with important functional, economic and aesthetic value. Ecologists have long questioned how this diversity is maintained. Classic theory shows that stable coexistence requires competitors to differ in their niches; this has motivated numerous investigations of ecological(More)
Although excessive loading of fine sediments into rivers is well known to degrade salmonid spawning habitat, its effects on rearing juveniles have been unclear. We experimentally manipulated fine bed sediment in a northern California river and examined responses of juvenile salmonids and the food webs supporting them. Increasing concentrations of deposited(More)
Recent studies suggest that selection can allow coexistence in situations where ecological dynamics lead to competitive exclusion, provided that there is a trade-off between traits optimal for interacting with conspecifics and traits optimal for interacting with heterospecifics. Despite compelling empirical evidence, there is no general framework for(More)
Understanding how species respond to climate change is critical for forecasting the future dynamics and distribution of pests, diseases and biological diversity. Although ecologists have long acknowledged species' direct physiological and demographic responses to climate, more recent work suggests that these direct responses can be overwhelmed by indirect(More)
Ecologists have long observed that consumers can maintain species diversity in communities of their prey. Many theories of how consumers mediate diversity invoke a tradeoff between species' competitive ability and their ability to withstand predation. Under this constraint, the best competitors are also most susceptible to consumers, preventing them from(More)
General principles from coexistence theory are often invoked to explain how and why mixtures of species outperform monocultures. However, the complementarity and selection effects commonly measured in biodiversity experiments do not precisely quantify the niche and relative fitness differences that govern species coexistence. Given this lack of direct(More)
Patchiness is a defining characteristic of most natural and anthropogenic habitats, yet much of our understanding of how invasions spread has come from models of spatially homogeneous environments. Except for populations with Allee effects, an invader's growth rate when rare and dispersal determine its spread velocity; intraspecific competition has little(More)