60 research outputs found

    Geographic patterns of tree dispersal modes in Amazonia and their ecological correlates

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    Unidad de excelencia Mar√≠a de Maeztu CEX2019-000940-MAim: To investigate the geographic patterns and ecological correlates in the geographic distribution of the most common tree dispersal modes in Amazonia (endozoochory, synzoochory, anemochory and hydrochory). We examined if the proportional abundance of these dispersal modes could be explained by the availability of dispersal agents (disperser-availability hypothesis) and/or the availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits (resource-availability hypothesis). Time period: Tree-inventory plots established between 1934 and 2019. Major taxa studied: Trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) ‚Č• 9.55 cm. Location: Amazonia, here defined as the lowland rain forests of the Amazon River basin and the Guiana Shield. Methods: We assigned dispersal modes to a total of 5433 species and morphospecies within 1877 tree-inventory plots across terra-firme, seasonally flooded, and permanently flooded forests. We investigated geographic patterns in the proportional abundance of dispersal modes. We performed an abundance-weighted mean pairwise distance (MPD) test and fit generalized linear models (GLMs) to explain the geographic distribution of dispersal modes. Results: Anemochory was significantly, positively associated with mean annual wind speed, and hydrochory was significantly higher in flooded forests. Dispersal modes did not consistently show significant associations with the availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits. A lower dissimilarity in dispersal modes, resulting from a higher dominance of endozoochory, occurred in terra-firme forests (excluding podzols) compared to flooded forests. Main conclusions: The disperser-availability hypothesis was well supported for abiotic dispersal modes (anemochory and hydrochory). The availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits seems an unlikely explanation for the distribution of dispersal modes in Amazonia. The association between frugivores and the proportional abundance of zoochory requires further research, as tree recruitment not only depends on dispersal vectors but also on conditions that favour or limit seedling recruitment across forest types

    Geographic patterns of tree dispersal modes in Amazonia and their ecological correlates

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    Aim: To investigate the geographic patterns and ecological correlates in the geographic distribution of the most common tree dispersal modes in Amazonia (endozoochory, synzoochory, anemochory and hydrochory). We examined if the proportional abundance of these dispersal modes could be explained by the availability of dispersal agents (disperser-availability hypothesis) and/or the availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits (resource-availability hypothesis). Time period: Tree-inventory plots established between 1934 and 2019. Major taxa studied: Trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) ‚Č•‚ÄČ9.55‚ÄČcm. Location: Amazonia, here defined as the lowland rain forests of the Amazon River basin and the Guiana Shield. Methods: We assigned dispersal modes to a total of 5433 species and morphospecies within 1877 tree-inventory plots across terra-firme, seasonally flooded, and permanently flooded forests. We investigated geographic patterns in the proportional abundance of dispersal modes. We performed an abundance-weighted mean pairwise distance (MPD) test and fit generalized linear models (GLMs) to explain the geographic distribution of dispersal modes. Results: Anemochory was significantly, positively associated with mean annual wind speed, and hydrochory was significantly higher in flooded forests. Dispersal modes did not consistently show significant associations with the availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits. A lower dissimilarity in dispersal modes, resulting from a higher dominance of endozoochory, occurred in terra-firme forests (excluding podzols) compared to flooded forests. Main conclusions: The disperser-availability hypothesis was well supported for abiotic dispersal modes (anemochory and hydrochory). The availability of resources for constructing zoochorous fruits seems an unlikely explanation for the distribution of dispersal modes in Amazonia. The association between frugivores and the proportional abundance of zoochory requires further research, as tree recruitment not only depends on dispersal vectors but also on conditions that favour or limit seedling recruitment across forest types

    Geography and ecology shape the phylogenetic composition of Amazonian tree communities

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    Aim: Amazonia hosts more tree species from numerous evolutionary lineages, both young and ancient, than any other biogeographic region. Previous studies have shown that tree lineages colonized multiple edaphic environments and dispersed widely across Amazonia, leading to a hypothesis, which we test, that lineages should not be strongly associated with either geographic regions or edaphic forest types. Location: Amazonia. Taxon: Angiosperms (Magnoliids; Monocots; Eudicots). Methods: Data for the abundance of 5082 tree species in 1989 plots were combined with a mega-phylogeny. We applied evolutionary ordination to assess how phylogenetic composition varies across Amazonia. We used variation partitioning and Moran\u27s eigenvector maps (MEM) to test and quantify the separate and joint contributions of spatial and environmental variables to explain the phylogenetic composition of plots. We tested the indicator value of lineages for geographic regions and edaphic forest types and mapped associations onto the phylogeny. Results: In the terra firme and v√°rzea forest types, the phylogenetic composition varies by geographic region, but the igap√≥ and white-sand forest types retain a unique evolutionary signature regardless of region. Overall, we find that soil chemistry, climate and topography explain 24% of the variation in phylogenetic composition, with 79% of that variation being spatially structured (R2^{2}‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ19% overall for combined spatial/environmental effects). The phylogenetic composition also shows substantial spatial patterns not related to the environmental variables we quantified (R2^{2}‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ28%). A greater number of lineages were significant indicators of geographic regions than forest types. Main Conclusion: Numerous tree lineages, including some ancient ones (>66‚ÄČMa), show strong associations with geographic regions and edaphic forest types of Amazonia. This shows that specialization in specific edaphic environments has played a long-standing role in the evolutionary assembly of Amazonian forests. Furthermore, many lineages, even those that have dispersed across Amazonia, dominate within a specific region, likely because of phylogenetically conserved niches for environmental conditions that are prevalent within regions

    Mapping density, diversity and species-richness of the Amazon tree flora

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    Using 2.046 botanically-inventoried tree plots across the largest tropical forest on Earth, we mapped tree species-diversity and tree species-richness at 0.1-degree resolution, and investigated drivers for diversity and richness. Using only location, stratified by forest type, as predictor, our spatial model, to the best of our knowledge, provides the most accurate map of tree diversity in Amazonia to date, explaining approximately 70% of the tree diversity and species-richness. Large soil-forest combinations determine a significant percentage of the variation in tree species-richness and tree alpha-diversity in Amazonian forest-plots. We suggest that the size and fragmentation of these systems drive their large-scale diversity patterns and hence local diversity. A model not using location but cumulative water deficit, tree density, and temperature seasonality explains 47% of the tree species-richness in the terra-firme forest in Amazonia. Over large areas across Amazonia, residuals of this relationship are small and poorly spatially structured, suggesting that much of the residual variation may be local. The Guyana Shield area has consistently negative residuals, showing that this area has lower tree species-richness than expected by our models. We provide extensive plot meta-data, including tree density, tree alpha-diversity and tree species-richness results and gridded maps at 0.1-degree resolution

    Consistent patterns of common species across tropical tree communities

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    Trees structure the Earth‚Äôs most biodiverse ecosystem, tropical forests. The vast number of tree species presents a formidable challenge to understanding these forests, including their response to environmental change, as very little is known about most tropical tree species. A focus on the common species may circumvent this challenge. Here we investigate abundance patterns of common tree species using inventory data on 1,003,805 trees with trunk diameters of at least 10‚ÄČcm across 1,568 locations1,2,3,4,5,6 in closed-canopy, structurally intact old-growth tropical forests in Africa, Amazonia and Southeast Asia. We estimate that 2.2%, 2.2% and 2.3% of species comprise 50% of the tropical trees in these regions, respectively. Extrapolating across all closed-canopy tropical forests, we estimate that just 1,053 species comprise half of Earth‚Äôs 800 billion tropical trees with trunk diameters of at least 10‚ÄČcm. Despite differing biogeographic, climatic and anthropogenic histories7, we find notably consistent patterns of common species and species abundance distributions across the continents. This suggests that fundamental mechanisms of tree community assembly may apply to all tropical forests. Resampling analyses show that the most common species are likely to belong to a manageable list of known species, enabling targeted efforts to understand their ecology. Although they do not detract from the importance of rare species, our results open new opportunities to understand the world‚Äôs most diverse forests, including modelling their response to environmental change, by focusing on the common species that constitute the majority of their trees.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Pervasive gaps in Amazonian ecological research

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    Pervasive gaps in Amazonian ecological research

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    Biodiversity loss is one of the main challenges of our time,1,2 and attempts to address it require a clear un derstanding of how ecological communities respond to environmental change across time and space.3,4 While the increasing availability of global databases on ecological communities has advanced our knowledge of biodiversity sensitivity to environmental changes,5‚Äď7 vast areas of the tropics remain understudied.8‚Äď11 In the American tropics, Amazonia stands out as the world‚Äôs most diverse rainforest and the primary source of Neotropical biodiversity,12 but it remains among the least known forests in America and is often underrepre sented in biodiversity databases.13‚Äď15 To worsen this situation, human-induced modifications16,17 may elim inate pieces of the Amazon‚Äôs biodiversity puzzle before we can use them to understand how ecological com munities are responding. To increase generalization and applicability of biodiversity knowledge,18,19 it is thus crucial to reduce biases in ecological research, particularly in regions projected to face the most pronounced environmental changes. We integrate ecological community metadata of 7,694 sampling sites for multiple or ganism groups in a machine learning model framework to map the research probability across the Brazilian Amazonia, while identifying the region‚Äôs vulnerability to environmental change. 15%‚Äď18% of the most ne glected areas in ecological research are expected to experience severe climate or land use changes by 2050. This means that unless we take immediate action, we will not be able to establish their current status, much less monitor how it is changing and what is being lostinfo:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Unraveling Amazon tree community assembly using Maximum Information Entropy: a quantitative analysis of tropical forest ecology

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    In a time of rapid global change, the question of what determines patterns in species abundance distribution remains a priority for understanding the complex dynamics of ecosystems. The constrained maximization of information entropy provides a framework for the understanding of such complex systems dynamics by a quantitative analysis of important constraints via predictions using least biased probability distributions. We apply it to over two thousand hectares of Amazonian tree inventories across seven forest types and thirteen functional traits, representing major global axes of plant strategies. Results show that constraints formed by regional relative abundances of genera explain eight times more of local relative abundances than constraints based on directional selection for specific functional traits, although the latter does show clear signals of environmental dependency. These results provide a quantitative insight by inference from large-scale data using cross-disciplinary methods, furthering our understanding of ecological dynamics
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