The dataset for A global meta-analytic contrast of cushion-plant facilitation of plants and arthropods

2015-07-27T15:57:23Z (GMT) by Amanda Liczner Christopher Lortie
<p></p> <p><br>Nurse plant facilitation is a commonly reported plant–plant interaction and is an important factor influencing community structure in stressful environments. Cushion plants are an example of alpine nurse plants that modify microclimatic conditions within their canopies to create favourable environments for other plants. In this meta-analysis, the facilitative effects of cushion plants was expanded from previous syntheses of the topic and the relative strength of facilitation for other plants and for arthropods were compared globally.The abundance, diversity, and species presence/absence effect size estimates were tested as plant responses to nurse plants and a composite measure was tested for arthropods. The strength of facilitation was on average three times greater for arthropods relative to all plant responses to cushions. Plant species presence, i.e., frequency of occurrence, was not enhanced by nurse-plants. Cushion plants nonetheless acted as nurse plants for both plants and arthropods in most alpine contexts globally, and although responses by other plant species currently dominate the facilitation literature, preliminary synthesis of the evidence suggests that the potential impacts of nurses may be even greater for other trophic levels.</p> <p> </p>