Stress & the collapse of facilitation becoming a hot topic. Super interesting. Just checked out this pre-print but struggled a bit. Narrative reviews that do not have transparent criteria for selecting evidence/citations to support work are challenging. I have never considered this previously, i.e. you can cherry pick the papers that support your line of argument and ignore others. I think this is a good reminder that more formal syntheses have significant strengths over the narrative. Nonetheless, the narrative is important as one can prepare a directed message as is the case here. Ecologically, I think the structure of most facilitation studies, i.e. contrasts of micro-habitats, is not necessarily amenable to niche fitting models as proposed therein. However, this disconnect may instead be an opportunity to increase the scale to some extent or aggregate primary data from micro-habitat contrasts to infer niche (whether realized or fundamental). I am keen to see the uptake on this paper.
He, Q. and Bertness, M. D. 2014. Extreme stresses, niches and positive species interactions along stress gradients. – Ecology in press on ESA pre-print server.