Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 409744
Title Distribution patterns of tropical woody species in response to climatic and edaphic gradients
Author(s) Toledo, M.; Peña-Claros, M.; Bongers, F.; Alarcón, A.; Balcázar, J.; Chubiña, J.; Leaño, C.; Licona, J.C.; Poorter, L.
Source Journal of Ecology 100 (2012)1. - ISSN 0022-0477 - p. 253 - 263.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2011.01890.x
Department(s) Forest Ecology and Forest Management
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) rain-forest - environmental gradients - logistic-regression - continuum theory - moist forest - soil factors - tree - drought - abundance - curves
Abstract 1. The analysis of species distribution patterns along environmental gradients is important for understanding the diversity and ecology of plants and species responses to climate change, but detailed data are surprisingly scarce for the tropics. 2. Here, we analyse the distribution of 100 woody species over 220 1-ha forest plots distributed over an area of c. 160 000 km2, across large environmental gradients in lowland Bolivia and evaluate the relative importance of climate and soils in shaping species distribution addressing four multivariate environmental axes (rainfall amount and distribution, temperature, soil fertility and soil texture). 3. Although species abundance was positively related to species frequency (the number of plots in which the species is found), this relationship was rather weak, which challenges the view that most tropical forests are dominated at large scales by a few common species. 4. Species responded clearly to environmental gradients, and for most of the species (65%), climatic and soil conditions could explain most of the variation in occurrence (R2 > 0.50), which challenges the idea that most tropical tree species are habitat generalists. 5. Climate was a stronger driver of species distribution than soils; 91% of the species were affected by rainfall (distribution), 72% by temperature, 47% by soil fertility and 44% by soil texture. In contrast to our expectation, few species showed a typical unimodal response to the environmental gradients.6. Synthesis. Tropical tree species specialize for different parts of the environmental gradients, and climate is a stronger driver of species distribution than soils. Because climate change scenarios predict increases in annual temperature and a stronger dry season for tropical forests, we may expect potentially large shifts in the distribution of tropical trees
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