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Intraspecific and interspecific competition experiments

Objective:
Determine the effects of both interspecific and intraspecific competition on total yield, survival, individual growth Do density-dependent factors play a role these factors?

Background Information (posted on web site):


Williams, A. C. and B. C. McCarthy. 2001. A new index of interspecific competition for replacement and additive designs. Ecological Research 16: 29-40.

Materials needed:
For first lab (planting): Planting trays Potting soil Seeds (radish and wheat or radish and rye) For second lab (harvesting): Scissors or knife to cut stems Balance

Procedure
Plant seeds in the following 9 configurations: A = radish B = wheat or rye 1 = 16 seeds alone, 8 when two species planted 2 = 32 alone, 16 in combination 3 = 64 alone, 32 in combination

Treatment name Total # of seeds A1 B1 AB1 16 A2 B2 AB2 32 A3 B3 AB3 64 Plants will be grown under full sun conditions for two weeks.

At the end of the experiment, count the number of individuals that germinated, harvest shoot tissue, and measure the wet biomass for each species and treatment.

ata anal!sis and "omework assignment:


Use the calculations described below to analyze your data and discuss whether interspecific or intraspecific competition occurred in your experiment and, if so, under which treatments. Determine the yields for each species under each treatment: YA = yield of species A in monoculture YB = yield of species B in monoculture YAB = yield of species A in the presence of species B YBA = yield of species B in the presence of species A

YDA = yield of species A grown at an overall density of D (e.g., 16 seeds/pot, 32 seeds/pot, or 64 seeds/pot). Please note that yield can be defined as the total yield of the pot or can be modified to represent yield on a per plant basis (divide by the number of seeds planted OR by the product of density and proportion).

pA= proportion at which species A was sown (1.0 for monoculture or 0.5 for mixed culture with 50% of the seeds representing species A). pB= proportion at which species B was sown Note that: pA + pB = 1 Calculations: 1. Relative yield (RY) measures the yield of each species when grown in mixed culture divided by the yield in monoculture, while taking into consideration the proportions at which each species is sown.
D Y AB RY = D A

( pAYAD ) ( pBYBD )

D Y BA RY = D B

Therefore, if there is no interspecific competition effect, RY = 1. If RYA > 1, then species A does better competing against species B than against itself. In contrast, if RYA < 1, then competition with species B is detrimental to species A and the interspecific competition effect is stronger than intraspecific competition. Please see Fig. 1 in Williams and McCarthy (2001) for a graphical depiction of how to interpret different RY values.

2. Change in Contribution index (CC)


D D D D CCA = (YAB /(YAB + YBA )) (( pA YAD ) /( pAYAD + pBYBD )) 1

This index reflects the proportion of biomass obtained in mixed culture divided by the expected proportion from monoculture data. By subtracting one from this value, we have the proportional change (increase if positive and decrease if negative) in biomass attained in mixture compared to biomass attained in monoculture.

In order to determine severity of competition based on individual plant biomass, by determining biomass per individual (W=total biomass divided by the number of individuals harvested). Intraspecific competition can be determined by calculating the absolute severity of competition (ASC):

ASC = (0 / )
Where W0 is the biomass per individual (biomass divided by the number of individuals harvested)) under no competition (treatment 1) and Wd is the biomass per individual under competition (treatments 2 and 3).