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Appendix S1. Details on the resource quality × species mixture experiments for carrion beetles from Facilitation costs and benefits function simultaneously on stress gradients for animals

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journal contribution
posted on 02.08.2018 by Olivier Dangles, Mario Herrera, Carlos Carpio, Christopher J. Lortie
Understanding the variation in species interactions along environmental stress gradients is crucial for making robust ecological predictions about community responses to changing environmental conditions. The facilitation-competition framework has provided a strong basis for predictions (e.g. the stress-gradient hypothesis, SGH), yet the mechanisms behind patterns in animal interactions on stress gradients are poorly explored in particular for mobile animals. Here, we proposed a conceptual framework modelling changes in facilitation costs and benefits along stress gradients and experimentally tested this framework by measuring fitness outcomes of benefactor–beneficiary interactions across resource quality levels. Three arthropod consumer models from a broad array of environmental conditions were used including aquatic detritivores, potato moths and rainforest carrion beetles. We detected a shift to more positive interactions at increasing levels of stress thereby supporting the application of the SGH to mobile animals. While most benefactors paid no significant cost of facilitation, an increase in potato moth beneficiary's growth at high resource stress triggered costs for benefactors. This study is the first to experimentally show that both costs and benefits function simultaneously on stress gradients for animals. The proposed conceptual framework could guide future studies examining species interaction outcomes for both animals and plants in an increasingly stressed world.