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1.
Ecol Lett ; 23(1): 160-171, 2020 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31698546

RESUMO

Among the local processes that determine species diversity in ecological communities, fluctuation-dependent mechanisms that are mediated by temporal variability in the abundances of species populations have received significant attention. Higher temporal variability in the abundances of species populations can increase the strength of temporal niche partitioning but can also increase the risk of species extinctions, such that the net effect on species coexistence is not clear. We quantified this temporal population variability for tree species in 21 large forest plots and found much greater variability for higher latitude plots with fewer tree species. A fitted mechanistic model showed that among the forest plots, the net effect of temporal population variability on tree species coexistence was usually negative, but sometimes positive or negligible. Therefore, our results suggest that temporal variability in the abundances of species populations has no clear negative or positive contribution to the latitudinal gradient in tree species richness.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Árvores , Biota , Características de Residência
2.
Ecol Lett ; 22(2): 245-255, 2019 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30548766

RESUMO

Climate is widely recognised as an important determinant of the latitudinal diversity gradient. However, most existing studies make no distinction between direct and indirect effects of climate, which substantially hinders our understanding of how climate constrains biodiversity globally. Using data from 35 large forest plots, we test hypothesised relationships amongst climate, topography, forest structural attributes (stem abundance, tree size variation and stand basal area) and tree species richness to better understand drivers of latitudinal tree diversity patterns. Climate influences tree richness both directly, with more species in warm, moist, aseasonal climates and indirectly, with more species at higher stem abundance. These results imply direct limitation of species diversity by climatic stress and more rapid (co-)evolution and narrower niche partitioning in warm climates. They also support the idea that increased numbers of individuals associated with high primary productivity are partitioned to support a greater number of species.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Árvores , Clima
3.
Nat Ecol Evol ; 2(9): 1436-1442, 2018 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30104751

RESUMO

Survival rates of large trees determine forest biomass dynamics. Survival rates of small trees have been linked to mechanisms that maintain biodiversity across tropical forests. How species survival rates change with size offers insight into the links between biodiversity and ecosystem function across tropical forests. We tested patterns of size-dependent tree survival across the tropics using data from 1,781 species and over 2 million individuals to assess whether tropical forests can be characterized by size-dependent life-history survival strategies. We found that species were classifiable into four 'survival modes' that explain life-history variation that shapes carbon cycling and the relative abundance within forests. Frequently collected functional traits, such as wood density, leaf mass per area and seed mass, were not generally predictive of the survival modes of species. Mean annual temperature and cumulative water deficit predicted the proportion of biomass of survival modes, indicating important links between evolutionary strategies, climate and carbon cycling. The application of survival modes in demographic simulations predicted biomass change across forest sites. Our results reveal globally identifiable size-dependent survival strategies that differ across diverse systems in a consistent way. The abundance of survival modes and interaction with climate ultimately determine forest structure, carbon storage in biomass and future forest trajectories.


Assuntos
Árvores , Clima Tropical , Biomassa , Carbono , Folhas de Planta , Sementes , Temperatura Ambiente , Água
4.
Science ; 360(6391)2018 05 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29798853

RESUMO

Hülsmann and Hartig suggest that ecological mechanisms other than specialized natural enemies or intraspecific competition contribute to our estimates of conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). To address their concern, we show that our results are not the result of a methodological artifact and present a null-model analysis that demonstrates that our original findings-(i) stronger CNDD at tropical relative to temperate latitudes and (ii) a latitudinal shift in the relationship between CNDD and species abundance-persist even after controlling for other processes that might influence spatial relationships between adults and recruits.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Árvores , Densidade Demográfica , Plântula
5.
Science ; 360(6391)2018 05 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29798855

RESUMO

Chisholm and Fung claim that our method of estimating conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD) in recruitment is systematically biased, and present an alternative method that shows no latitudinal pattern in CNDD. We demonstrate that their approach produces strongly biased estimates of CNDD, explaining why they do not detect a latitudinal pattern. We also address their methodological concerns using an alternative distance-weighted approach, which supports our original findings of a latitudinal gradient in CNDD and a latitudinal shift in the relationship between CNDD and species abundance.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Árvores , Ecossistema , Plântula
6.
R Soc Open Sci ; 5(9): 181168, 2018 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30839691

RESUMO

The relationship between ß-diversity and latitude still remains to be a core question in ecology because of the lack of consensus between studies. One hypothesis for the lack of consensus between studies is that spatial scale changes the relationship between latitude and ß-diversity. Here, we test this hypothesis using tree data from 15 large-scale forest plots (greater than or equal to 15 ha, diameter at breast height ≥ 1 cm) across a latitudinal gradient (3-30o) in the Asia-Pacific region. We found that the observed ß-diversity decreased with increasing latitude when sampling local tree communities at small spatial scale (grain size ≤0.1 ha), but the observed ß-diversity did not change with latitude when sampling at large spatial scales (greater than or equal to 0.25 ha). Differences in latitudinal ß-diversity gradients across spatial scales were caused by pooled species richness (γ-diversity), which influenced observed ß-diversity values at small spatial scales, but not at large spatial scales. Therefore, spatial scale changes the relationship between ß-diversity, γ-diversity and latitude, and improving sample representativeness avoids the γ-dependence of ß-diversity.

7.
Nat Commun ; 8(1): 2231, 2017 12 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29263381

RESUMO

Native species that forage in farmland may increase their local abundances thereby affecting adjacent ecosystems within their landscape. We used two decades of ecological data from a protected primary rainforest in Malaysia to illutrate how subsidies from neighboring oil palm plantations triggered powerful secondary 'cascading' effects on natural habitats located >1.3 km away. We found (i) oil palm fruit drove 100-fold increases in crop-raiding native wild boar (Sus scrofa), (ii) wild boar used thousands of understory plants to construct birthing nests in the pristine forest interior, and (iii) nest building caused a 62% decline in forest tree sapling density over the 24-year study period. The long-term, landscape-scale indirect effects from agriculture suggest its full ecological footprint may be larger in extent than is currently recognized. Cross-boundary subsidy cascades may be widespread in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and present significant conservation challenges.

8.
Nature ; 550(7674): 105-108, 2017 10 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28953870

RESUMO

The tropical forests of Borneo and Amazonia may each contain more tree species diversity in half a square kilometre than do all the temperate forests of Europe, North America, and Asia combined. Biologists have long been fascinated by this disparity, using it to investigate potential drivers of biodiversity. Latitudinal variation in many of these drivers is expected to create geographic differences in ecological and evolutionary processes, and evidence increasingly shows that tropical ecosystems have higher rates of diversification, clade origination, and clade dispersal. However, there is currently no evidence to link gradients in ecological processes within communities at a local scale directly to the geographic gradient in biodiversity. Here, we show geographic variation in the storage effect, an ecological mechanism that reduces the potential for competitive exclusion more strongly in the tropics than it does in temperate and boreal zones, decreasing the ratio of interspecific-to-intraspecific competition by 0.25% for each degree of latitude that an ecosystem is located closer to the Equator. Additionally, we find evidence that latitudinal variation in climate underpins these differences; longer growing seasons in the tropics reduce constraints on the seasonal timing of reproduction, permitting lower recruitment synchrony between species and thereby enhancing niche partitioning through the storage effect. Our results demonstrate that the strength of the storage effect, and therefore its impact on diversity within communities, varies latitudinally in association with climate. This finding highlights the importance of biotic interactions in shaping geographic diversity patterns, and emphasizes the need to understand the mechanisms underpinning ecological processes in greater detail than has previously been appreciated.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Florestas , Análise Espaço-Temporal , Árvores/fisiologia , Clima Tropical , Mapeamento Geográfico , Reprodução , Estações do Ano , Fatores de Tempo , Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento
9.
Science ; 356(6345): 1389-1392, 2017 06 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28663501

RESUMO

Theory predicts that higher biodiversity in the tropics is maintained by specialized interactions among plants and their natural enemies that result in conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). By using more than 3000 species and nearly 2.4 million trees across 24 forest plots worldwide, we show that global patterns in tree species diversity reflect not only stronger CNDD at tropical versus temperate latitudes but also a latitudinal shift in the relationship between CNDD and species abundance. CNDD was stronger for rare species at tropical versus temperate latitudes, potentially causing the persistence of greater numbers of rare species in the tropics. Our study reveals fundamental differences in the nature of local-scale biotic interactions that contribute to the maintenance of species diversity across temperate and tropical communities.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Árvores/classificação , Antibiose , Ecossistema , Florestas , Geografia , Modelos Biológicos , Árvores/fisiologia , Clima Tropical
10.
Oecologia ; 182(3): 829-40, 2016 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27632194

RESUMO

Understanding the role of biodiversity (B) in maintaining ecosystem function (EF) is a foundational scientific goal with applications for resource management and conservation. Two main hypotheses have emerged that address B-EF relationships: niche complementarity (NC) and the mass-ratio (MR) effect. We tested the relative importance of these hypotheses in a subtropical old-growth forest on the island nation of Taiwan for two EFs: aboveground biomass (ABG) and coarse woody productivity (CWP). Functional dispersion (FDis) of eight plant functional traits was used to evaluate complementarity of resource use. Under the NC hypothesis, EF will be positively correlated with FDis. Under the MR hypothesis, EF will be negatively correlated with FDis and will be significantly influenced by community-weighted mean (CWM) trait values. We used path analysis to assess how these two processes (NC and MR) directly influence EF and may contribute indirectly to EF via their influence on canopy packing (stem density). Our results indicate that decreasing functional diversity and a significant influence of CWM traits were linked to increasing AGB for all eight traits in this forest supporting the MR hypothesis. Interestingly, CWP was primarily influenced by NC and MR indirectly via their influence on canopy packing. Maximum height explained more of the variation in both AGB and CWP than any of the other plant functional traits. Together, our results suggest that multiple mechanisms operate simultaneously to influence EF, and understanding their relative importance will help to elucidate the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem function.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Florestas , Biodiversidade , Biomassa , Plantas
11.
Ecol Evol ; 6(17): 6085-96, 2016 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27648227

RESUMO

A fundamental goal in ecology is to link variation in species function to performance, but functional trait-performance investigations have had mixed success. This indicates that less commonly measured functional traits may more clearly elucidate trait-performance relationships. Despite the potential importance of leaf vein traits, which are expected to be related to resource delivery rates and photosynthetic capacity, there are few studies, which examine associations between these traits and demographic performance in communities. Here, we examined the associations between species traits including leaf venation traits and demographic rates (Relative Growth Rate, RGR and mortality) as well as the spatial distributions of traits along soil environment for 54 co-occurring species in a subtropical forest. Size-related changes in demographic rates were estimated using a hierarchical Bayesian approach. Next, Kendall's rank correlations were quantified between traits and estimated demographic rates at a given size and between traits and species-average soil environment. Species with denser venation, smaller areoles, less succulent, or thinner leaves showed higher RGR for a wide range of size classes. Species with leaves of denser veins, larger area, cheaper construction costs or thinner, or low-density wood were associated with high mortality rates only in small size classes. Lastly, contrary to our expectations, acquisitive traits were not related to resource-rich edaphic conditions. This study shows that leaf vein traits are weakly, but significantly related to tree demographic performance together with other species traits. Because leaf traits associated with an acquisitive strategy such as denser venation, less succulence, and thinner leaves showed higher growth rate, but similar leaf traits were not associated with mortality, different pathways may shape species growth and survival. This study suggests that we are still not measuring some of key traits related to resource-use strategies, which dictate the demography and distributions of species.

12.
Ecology ; 97(2): 347-60, 2016 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27145610

RESUMO

Recent theory predicts that stochastic dilution effects may result in species-rich communities with statistically independent species spatial distributions, even if the underlying ecological processes structuring the community are driven by deterministic niche differences. Stochastic dilution is a consequence of the stochastic geometry of biodiversity where the identities of the nearest neighbors of individuals of a given species are largely unpredictable. Under such circumstances, the outcome of deterministic species interactions may vary greatly among individuals of a given species. Consequently, nonrandom patterns in the biotic neighborhoods of species, which might be expected from coexistence or community assembly theory (e.g., individuals of a given species are neighbored by phylogenetically similar species), are weakened or do not emerge, resulting in statistical independence of species spatial distributions. We used data on phylogenetic and functional similarity of tree species in five large forest dynamics plots located across a gradient of species richness to test predictions of the stochastic dilution hypothesis. To quantify the biotic neighborhood of a focal species we used the mean phylogenetic (or functional) dissimilarity of the individuals of the focal species to all species within a local neighborhood. We then compared the biotic neighborhood of species to predictions from stochastic null models to test if a focal species was surrounded by more or less similar species than expected by chance. The proportions of focal species that showed spatial independence with respect to their biotic neighborhoods increased with total species richness. Locally dominant, high-abundance species were more likely to be surrounded by species that were statistically more similar or more dissimilar than expected by chance. Our results suggest that stochasticity may play a stronger role in shaping the spatial structure of species rich tropical forest communities than it does in species poorer forests. These findings represent an important step towards understanding the factors that govern the spatial configuration of local biotic communities. The stochastic dilution effect is a simple geometric mechanism that can explain why species' spatial distributions in species-rich communities approximate independence from their biotic neighborhood, even if deterministic niche processes are in effect.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Florestas , Modelos Biológicos , Filogenia , Processos Estocásticos
13.
Nature ; 529(7585): 204-7, 2016 Jan 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26700807

RESUMO

Phenotypic traits and their associated trade-offs have been shown to have globally consistent effects on individual plant physiological functions, but how these effects scale up to influence competition, a key driver of community assembly in terrestrial vegetation, has remained unclear. Here we use growth data from more than 3 million trees in over 140,000 plots across the world to show how three key functional traits--wood density, specific leaf area and maximum height--consistently influence competitive interactions. Fast maximum growth of a species was correlated negatively with its wood density in all biomes, and positively with its specific leaf area in most biomes. Low wood density was also correlated with a low ability to tolerate competition and a low competitive effect on neighbours, while high specific leaf area was correlated with a low competitive effect. Thus, traits generate trade-offs between performance with competition versus performance without competition, a fundamental ingredient in the classical hypothesis that the coexistence of plant species is enabled via differentiation in their successional strategies. Competition within species was stronger than between species, but an increase in trait dissimilarity between species had little influence in weakening competition. No benefit of dissimilarity was detected for specific leaf area or wood density, and only a weak benefit for maximum height. Our trait-based approach to modelling competition makes generalization possible across the forest ecosystems of the world and their highly diverse species composition.


Assuntos
Fenótipo , Árvores/anatomia & histologia , Árvores/fisiologia , Florestas , Internacionalidade , Modelos Biológicos , Folhas de Planta/fisiologia , Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Madeira/análise
14.
Ecology ; 96(10): 2748-57, 2015 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26649395

RESUMO

The importance of lianas through time and their effect on tree reproduction are evaluated for the first time in a Southeast Asian Dipterocarp forest. We quantified flower and seed production by lianas and trees for 13 years, assessed liana loads in the crowns of all trees larger than 30 cm in diameter at breast height (1.3 m) in 2002 and 2014, and assessed levels of reproduction for the same trees during a strong general flowering event in 2014 for the 50-ha forest dynamics plot at the Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. General flowering refers to synchronous reproduction by hundreds of plant species at irregular, multiyear intervals and only occurs in Southeast Asian Dipterocarp forests. Overall, lianas were present in 50% of tree crowns and comprised 31% of flower production and 46% of seed production. Lianas reduced growth, survival, and reproduction by their host trees. Lianas were less frequent in canopy- emergent trees, Dipterocarps comprised a disproportionately large proportion of canopy emergents, and, as a consequence, lianas were less frequent in Dipterocarps than in trees from other plant families. Lianas infested the crowns of significantly fewer trees in 2014 (47.9%) than in 2002 (52.3%); however, the decrease was restricted to trees with the lightest liana loads and sample sizes and statistical power were enormous. Lianas comprised a stable proportion of flower production and a highly variable proportion of seed production from 2002 through 2013. We conclude lianas have a huge impact on trees in this forest and were a stable component of the forest between 2002 and 2014. The emergent habit and associated ability to avoid lianas might contribute to the success of the Dipterocarpaceae.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Florestas , Fenômenos Fisiológicos Vegetais , Plantas/classificação , Monitoramento Ambiental , Malásia , Fatores de Tempo
15.
Sci Rep ; 5: 15127, 2015 Oct 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26456472

RESUMO

To determine how well DNA barcodes from the chloroplast region perform in forest dynamics plots (FDPs) from global CTFS-ForestGEO network, we analyzed DNA barcoding sequences of 1277 plant species from a wide phylogenetic range (3 FDPs in tropics, 5 in subtropics and 5 in temperate zone) and compared the rates of species discrimination (RSD). We quantified RSD by two DNA barcode combinations (rbcL + matK and rbcL + matK + trnH-psbA) using a monophyly-based method (GARLI). We defined two indexes of closely-related taxa (Gm/Gt and S/G ratios) and correlated these ratios with RSD. The combination of rbcL + matK averagely discriminated 88.65%, 83.84% and 72.51% at the local, regional and global scales, respectively. An additional locus trnH-psbA increased RSD by 2.87%, 1.49% and 3.58% correspondingly. RSD varied along a latitudinal gradient and were negatively correlated with ratios of closely-related taxa. Successes of species discrimination generally depend on scales in global FDPs. We suggested that the combination of rbcL + matK + trnH-psbA is currently applicable for DNA barcoding-based phylogenetic studies on forest communities.


Assuntos
Código de Barras de DNA Taxonômico/métodos , DNA de Plantas/genética , Filogenia , Árvores/genética , Cloroplastos/genética , Clima , Endorribonucleases/genética , Florestas , Expressão Gênica , Loci Gênicos , Histidina-tRNA Ligase/genética , Nucleotidiltransferases/genética , Complexo de Proteína do Fotossistema II/genética , Ribulose-Bifosfato Carboxilase/genética , Análise de Sequência de DNA , Especificidade da Espécie , Árvores/classificação
16.
Ecol Lett ; 17(7): 855-65, 2014 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24805976

RESUMO

Long-term surveys of entire communities of species are needed to measure fluctuations in natural populations and elucidate the mechanisms driving population dynamics and community assembly. We analysed changes in abundance of over 4000 tree species in 12 forests across the world over periods of 6-28 years. Abundance fluctuations in all forests are large and consistent with population dynamics models in which temporal environmental variance plays a central role. At some sites we identify clear environmental drivers, such as fire and drought, that could underlie these patterns, but at other sites there is a need for further research to identify drivers. In addition, cross-site comparisons showed that abundance fluctuations were smaller at species-rich sites, consistent with the idea that stable environmental conditions promote higher diversity. Much community ecology theory emphasises demographic variance and niche stabilisation; we encourage the development of theory in which temporal environmental variance plays a central role.


Assuntos
Modelos Biológicos , Árvores/fisiologia , Meio Ambiente , Dinâmica Populacional , Fatores de Tempo
17.
Ecology ; 94(11): 2436-43, 2013 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24400495

RESUMO

Spatially explicit consideration of species distribution can significantly add to our understanding of species coexistence. In this paper, we evaluated the relative importance of habitat heterogeneity and other clustering processes (e.g., dispersal limitation, collectively called the non-habitat clustering process) in explaining the spatial distribution patterns of 341 tree species in three stem-mapped 25-50 ha plots of tropical, subtropical, and temperate forests. Their relative importance was estimated by a method that can take one mechanism into account when estimating the effects of the other mechanism and vice versa. Our results demonstrated that habitat heterogeneity was less important in explaining the observed species patterns than other clustering processes in plots with flat topography but was more important in one of the three plots that had a complex topography. Meanwhile, both types of clustering mechanisms (habitat or non-habitat) were pervasive among species at the 50-ha scale across the studied plots. Our analyses also revealed considerable variation among species in the relative importance of the two types of mechanism within each plot and showed that this species-level variation can be partially explained by differences in dispersal mode and growth form of species in a highly heterogeneous environment. Our findings provide new perspectives on the formation of species clustering. One important finding is that a significant species-habitat association does not necessarily mean that the habitat heterogeneity has a decisive influence on species distribution. The second insight is that the large species-level variation in the relative importance of the two types of clustering mechanisms should not be ignored. Non-habitat clustering processes can play an important role on species distribution.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Árvores/fisiologia , Análise por Conglomerados , Demografia , Especificidade da Espécie , Árvores/classificação , Árvores/genética
18.
Oecologia ; 165(1): 175-84, 2011 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20640861

RESUMO

Understanding processes underlying spatial distribution of tree species is fundamental to studying species coexistence and diversity. This study modeled point patterns of tree distribution, expressed by Cartesian coordinates of individual trees within a mapped forest stand, for the purpose of identifying processes that may generate spatial patterns of tree communities. We used four primary point pattern processes (homogeneous Poisson process, inhomogeneous Poisson process, homogeneous Thomas process, and inhomogeneous Thomas process) to model tree distribution in two stem-mapped forests in Taiwan, Republic of China. These four models simulate spatial processes of habitat association and seed dispersal, allowing us to evaluate the potential contribution of habitat heterogeneity and dispersal limitation to the formation of spatial patterns of tree species. The results showed that the inhomogeneous Thomas process was the best fit model and described most of the species studied, suggesting that spatial patterns of tree species might be formed by the joint effects of habitat associations and dispersal limitation. The homogeneous Thomas process that models the effect of dispersal limitation was the second best model. We also found that the best fit models could be predicted by species attributes, including species abundance and dispersal mode. The significant traits, however, differed between the two study plots and demonstrated site-specific patterns. This study indicated that the interactive operation of niche-based (habitat heterogeneity) and neutral-based (dispersal limitation) may be important in generating spatial patterns of tree species in forest communities.


Assuntos
Meio Ambiente , Dispersão de Sementes , Árvores/fisiologia , China , Densidade Demográfica , Especificidade da Espécie
19.
Ecology ; 90(11): 3033-41, 2009 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19967859

RESUMO

Species-area relationships (SARs) characterize the spatial distribution of species diversity in community ecology, but the biological mechanisms underlying the SARs have not been fully explored. Here, we examined the roles of dispersal limitation and habitat heterogeneity in shaping SARs in two large-scale forest plots. One is a 24-ha subtropical forest in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve, China. The other is a 50-ha tropical rain forest in Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Spatial point pattern models were applied to investigate the contributions of dispersal and habitat heterogeneity and their interactions to the formation of the SARs in the two sites. The results showed that, although dispersal and habitat heterogeneity each could significantly contribute to the SARs, each alone was insufficient to explain the SARs. Their joint effects sufficiently explained the real SARs, suggesting that heterogeneous habitat and dispersal limitation are two predominant mechanisms for maintaining the spatial distributions of the species in these two forests. These results add to our understanding of the ecological processes underlying the spatial variation of SARs in natural forest communities.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Animais , China , Simulação por Computador , Demografia , Geografia , Modelos Biológicos , Panamá , Distribuição de Poisson , Clima Tropical
20.
Ecology ; 90(3): 663-74, 2009 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19341137

RESUMO

The classical environmental control model assumes that species distribution is determined by the spatial variation of underlying habitat conditions. This niche-based model has recently been challenged by the neutral theory of biodiversity which assumes that ecological drift is a key process regulating species coexistence. Understanding the mechanisms that maintain biodiversity in communities critically depends on our ability to decompose the variation of diversity into the contributions of different processes affecting it. Here we investigated the effects of pure habitat, pure spatial, and spatially structured habitat processes on the distributions of species richness and species composition in a recently established 24-ha stem-mapping plot in the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Gutianshan National Nature Reserve in East China. We used the new spatial analysis method of principal coordinates of neighbor matrices (PCNM) to disentangle the contributions of these processes. The results showed that (1) habitat and space jointly explained approximately 53% of the variation in richness and approximately 65% of the variation in species composition, depending on the scale (sampling unit size); (2) tree diversity (richness and composition) in the Gutianshan forest was dominantly controlled by spatially structured habitat (24%) and habitat-independent spatial component (29%); the spatially independent habitat contributed a negligible effect (6%); (3) distributions of richness and species composition were strongly affected by altitude and terrain convexity, while the effects of slope and aspect were weak; (4) the spatial distribution of diversity in the forest was dominated by broad-scaled spatial variation; (5) environmental control on the one hand and unexplained spatial variation on the other (unmeasured environmental variables and neutral processes) corresponded to spatial structures with different scales in the Gutianshan forest plot; and (6) five habitat types were recognized; a few species were statistically significant indicators of three of these habitats, whereas two habitats had no significant indicator species. The results suggest that the diversity of the forest is equally governed by environmental control (30%) and neutral processes (29%). In the fine-scale analysis (10 x 10 m cells), neutral processes dominated (43%) over environmental control (20%).


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Árvores/classificação , Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , China , Monitoramento Ambiental , Folhas de Planta/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Especificidade da Espécie , Luz Solar , Fatores de Tempo , Clima Tropical
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