Oecologia

, Volume 167, Issue 1, pp 149–155

Does a facultative mutualism limit species range expansion?

Community ecology - original paper

Abstract

The availability and quality of mutualists beyond a species’ range edge may limit range expansion. With the legume Chamaecrista fasciculata, we asked to what extent the availability and quality of rhizobia beyond the range edge limits host range expansion. We tested the effect of rhizobia availability on plant growth by transplanting seed from three locations into five sites spanning C. fasciculata’s range (interior, at the northern and western range edges, and beyond the range edges), and inoculating half the seeds with rhizobia. We recorded growth of all surviving plants, and, for the uninoculated plants, whether they had formed nodules or not. We isolated rhizobia from nodules collected on the uninoculated plants, and cross-inoculated seed from four populations (both range edge and interior populations) in the greenhouse to determine whether the quality of rhizobia differed between regions. We found that seeds transplanted beyond the range edge were less likely to be nodulated when they were not experimentally inoculated, and there was benefit to inoculation at all sites. In the greenhouse, the three inocula that formed nodules on plants, from the range interior, northern edge and beyond the northern edge, did not detectably differ in their effect on plant growth. These results suggest that low densities of suitable rhizobia beyond the range edge may limit range expansion of legume species.

Keywords

Range limits Mutualism Chamaecrista fasciculata Rhizobia Transplant study 

Supplementary material

442_2011_1958_MOESM1_ESM.doc (66 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 66 kb)

References

  1. Ackerly DD (2003) Community assembly, niche conservatism, and adaptive evolution in changing environments. Int J Plant Sci 164(3 Supp):S165–S184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angert A, Schemske D (2005) The evolution of species’ distributions: reciprocal transplants across the elevation ranges of Mimulus cardinalis and M. lewisii. Evolution 59:1671–1684PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Antonovics J (2009) The effect of sterilizing diseases on host abundance and distribution along environmental gradients. Proc R Soc Lond B 276:1443–1448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Béna G, Lyet A, Huguet T, Olivieri I (2005) MedicagoSinorhizobium symbiotic specificity evolution and the geographic expansion of Medicago. J Evol Biol 18:1547–1558PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burdon J, Gibson A, Searle S, Woods M, Brockwell J (1999) Variation in the effectiveness of symbiotic associations between native rhizobia and temperate Australian Acacia: within-species interactions. J Appl Ecol 36:398–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bushnell O, Sarles W (1937) Studies on the root-nodule bacteria of wild leguminous plants in Wisconsin. Soil Sci 44:409–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Case T, Taper M (2000) Interspecific competition, environmental gradients, gene flow, and the coevolution of species’ borders. Am Nat 155:583–605PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Case T, Holt RD, McPeek M, Keitt TH (2005) The community context of species’ borders: ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Oikos 108:28–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davis MB, Shaw RG (2001) Range shifts and adaptive responses to quaternary climate change. Science 292:673–679PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Doyle JJ, Luckow MA (2003) The rest of the iceberg. Legume diversity and evolution in a phylogenetic context. Plant Physiol 131:900–910PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Geber MA, Eckhart VM (2005) Experimental studies of adaptation in Clarkia xantiana. II. Fitness variation across a subspecies border. Evolution 59:521–531PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Heath KD (2010) Intergenomic epistasis and coevolutionary constraint in plants and rhizobia. Evolution 64:1446–1458PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Heath KD, Tiffin P (2007) Context dependence in the coevolution of plant and rhizobial mutualists. Proc R Soc Lond B 269:1905–1912Google Scholar
  14. Holt RD, Barfield M (2009) Trophic interactions and range limits: the diverse roles of predation. Proc R Soc Lond B 276:1435–1442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Irwin HS, Barneby RC (1982) The American Cassiinae. A synoptical revision of the Leguminosae tribe Cassieae subtribe Cassiinae in the New World. New York Botanical Garden Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Milliken GA, Johnson DE (2009) Analysis of messy data, vol 1. Designed experiments, 2nd edn. CRC Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Morris W et al (2007) Direct and interactive effects of enemies and mutualists on plant performance: a meta-analysis. Ecology 88:1021–1029PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Naisbitt T, Sprent JI (1993) The long-term effects of nitrate on the growth and nodule structure of the caesalpinioid herbaceous legume Chamaecrista fasciculata Michaux. J Exp Bot 44:829–836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nuñez MA, Horton TR, Simberloff D (2009) Lack of belowground mutualisms hinders Pinaceae invasions. Ecology 90:2352–2359PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Parker MA (2001) Mutualism as a constraint on invasion success for legumes and rhizobia. Divers Dist 7:125–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Parker MA, Kennedy DA (2006) Diversity and relationships of Bradyrhizobia from legumes native to eastern North America. Can J Microbiol 52:1148–1157PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Parker MA, Malek W, Parker IM (2006) Growth of an invasive legume is symbiont limited in newly occupied habitats. Divers Dist 12:563–571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Price TD, Kirkpatrick M (2009) Evolutionarily stable range limits set by interspecific competition. Proc R Soc Lond B 276:1429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pringle A, Bever JD, Gardes M, Parrent JL, Rillig MC, Klironomos JN (2009) Mycorrhizal symbioses and plant invasions. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 40:699–715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Purves DW (2009) The demography of range boundaries versus range cores in eastern US tree species. Proc R Soc Lond B 276:1477–1484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. R Development Core Team (2009) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  27. Ratcliff WC, Kadam SV, Denison RF (2008) Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) supports survival and reproduction in starving rhizobia. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 65:391–399PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rehfeldt G, Ferguson D, Crookston N (2008) Quantifying the abundance of co-occurring conifers along inland northwest (USA) climate gradients. Ecology 89:2127–2139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sagarin RD, Gaines SD (2002) The ‘abundant centre’ distribution: to what extent is it a biogeographical rule? Ecol Lett 5:137–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Somasegaran P, Hoben HJ (1994) Handbook for rhizobia: methods in legume—Rhizobium technology. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  31. Spoerke JM, Wilkinson HH, Parker MA (1996) Nonrandome genotypic associations in a legume—Bradyrhizobium mutualism. Evolution 50:146–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tlusty B, Grossman JM, Graham PH (2004) Selection of rhizobia for prairie legumes used in restoration and reconstruction programs in Minnesota. Can J Microbiol 50:977–983PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Evolution and BehaviorUniversity of Minnesota, Twin CitiesSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Land, Air and Water ResourcesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations