Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Version of Record

Publication Date

11-2015

Abstract

The role of competition in community structure and species interactions is universal. However, how one quantifies the outcome of competitive interactions is frequently debated. Here, we review the strengths and weaknesses of the target– neighbor design, a type of additive design where one of the competing species is reduced to a single individual and where controls and analyses are used for the target, but not for the neighbors. We conducted a literature review to determine how the target–neighbor design has been typically used and analyzed. We found that historically, targets were often smaller than neighbors and introduced after neighbor establishment; thus, targets would have little effect on neighbors. However, as co-establishment of targets and neighbors of similar size is now common, the target is more likely to affect the neighbors than in its earlier usage. This can be problematic, because if targets have a significant effect on neighbor performance, bias is introduced into the assessment of the target results. As target treatment controls are necessary to determine the absolute effect of neighbors on target growth, we advocate that analysis of the neighbor competitive response serves as a necessary control for unexpected target x neighbor interactions.

Publication Title

Ecology and Evolution

Volume

5

Issue

22

First Page

5265

Last Page

5271

Pages

7

Format

application/pdf

Language

en

DOI of Published Version

10.1002/ece3.1689

Publisher

Wiley

Rights

Copyright © The Authors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Comments

This work was published Ecology and Evolution (2015) 5:22. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1741.

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