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.

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    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==environmental filtering
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Data from: Soil-mediated filtering organizes tree assemblages in regenerating tropical forests
Pinho, Bruno Ximenes ; Melo, Felipe Pimentel Lopes de; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor ; Pierce, Simon ; Lohbeck, M.W.M. ; Tabarelli, Marcelo - \ 2017
determinants of plant community diversity and structure - environmental filtering - forest regeneration - functional traits - limiting similarity - secondary succession - soil fertility - community assembly
1.Secondary forests are increasingly dominant in human-modified tropical landscapes, but the drivers of forest recovery remain poorly understood. Soil conditions influence plant community composition, and are expected to change over a gradient of succession. However, the role of soil conditions as an environmental filter driving community assembly during forest succession has rarely been explicitly assessed. 2.We evaluated the role of stand basal area and soil conditions on community assembly and its consequences for community functional properties along a chronosequence of Atlantic forest regeneration following sugar cane cultivation. Specifically, we tested whether community functional properties are related to stand basal area, soil fertility and soil moisture. Our expectations were that edaphic environmental filters play an increasingly important role along secondary succession by increasing functional trait convergence towards more conservative attributes. 3.We sampled soil and woody vegetation features across 15 second-growth (3-30 years) and 11 old-growth forest plots (300 m² each). We recorded tree functional traits related to resource-use strategies (specific leaf area, SLA; leaf dry matter content, LDMC; leaf area, LA; leaf thickness, LT; and leaf succulence, LS) and calculated community functional properties using the community-weighted mean (CWM) of each trait and the functional dispersion (FDis) of each trait separately and all traits together. 4.With exception of LA, all leaf traits were strongly associated with stand basal area; LDMC and SLA increased, while LT and LS decreased with forest development. Such changes in LDMC, LT and LS were also related to the decrease in soil nutrient availability and pH along succession, while soil moisture was weakly related to community functional properties. Considering all traits, as well as leaf thickness and succulence separately, FDis strongly decreased with increasing basal area and decreasing soil fertility along forest succession, presenting the lowest values in old-growth forests. 5.Synthesis. Our findings suggest that tropical forest regeneration may be a deterministic process shaped by soil conditions. Soil fertility operates as a key filter causing functional convergence towards more conservative resource-use strategies, such as leaves with higher leaf dry mass content.
Examining variation in the leaf mass per area of dominant species across two contrasting tropical gradients in light of community assembly
Neyret, Margot ; Bentley, Lisa Patrick ; Oliveras Menor, Imma ; Marimon, Beatriz S. ; Marimon-Junior, Ben Hur ; Almeida de Oliveira, Edmar ; Barbosa Passos, Fábio ; Castro Ccoscco, Rosa ; Santos, Josias dos; Matias Reis, Simone ; Morandi, Paulo S. ; Rayme Paucar, Gloria ; Robles Cáceres, Arturo ; Valdez Tejeira, Yolvi ; Yllanes Choque, Yovana ; Salinas, Norma ; Shenkin, Alexander ; Asner, Gregory P. ; Díaz, Sandra ; Enquist, Brian J. ; Malhi, Yadvinder - \ 2016
Ecology and Evolution 6 (2016)16. - ISSN 2045-7758 - p. 5674 - 5689.
Community assembly - environmental filtering - interspecific variation - intraspecific variation - leaf mass per area - limiting similarity - T-statistics - tropical forests

Understanding variation in key functional traits across gradients in high diversity systems and the ecology of community changes along gradients in these systems is crucial in light of conservation and climate change. We examined inter- and intraspecific variation in leaf mass per area (LMA) of sun and shade leaves along a 3330-m elevation gradient in Peru, and in sun leaves across a forest–savanna vegetation gradient in Brazil. We also compared LMA variance ratios (T-statistics metrics) to null models to explore internal (i.e., abiotic) and environmental filtering on community structure along the gradients. Community-weighted LMA increased with decreasing forest cover in Brazil, likely due to increased light availability and water stress, and increased with elevation in Peru, consistent with the leaf economic spectrum strategy expected in colder, less productive environments. A very high species turnover was observed along both environmental gradients, and consequently, the first source of variation in LMA was species turnover. Variation in LMA at the genus or family levels was greater in Peru than in Brazil. Using dominant trees to examine possible filters on community assembly, we found that in Brazil, internal filtering was strongest in the forest, while environmental filtering was observed in the dry savanna. In Peru, internal filtering was observed along 80% of the gradient, perhaps due to variation in taxa or interspecific competition. Environmental filtering was observed at cloud zone edges and in lowlands, possibly due to water and nutrient availability, respectively. These results related to variation in LMA indicate that biodiversity in species rich tropical assemblages may be structured by differential niche-based processes. In the future, specific mechanisms generating these patterns of variation in leaf functional traits across tropical environmental gradients should be explored.

Testing for functional convergence of temperate rainforest tree assemblages in Chile and New Zealand
Lusk, C.H. ; Jimenez-Castillo, M. ; Aragón, R. ; Easdale, T.A. ; Poorter, L. ; Hinojosa, L.F. ; Mason, N.W.H.W.H. - \ 2016
New Zealand Journal of Botany 54 (2016)2. - ISSN 0028-825X - p. 175 - 203.
Bioclimatic matching - environmental filtering - functional trait convergence - leaf dry matter content - leaf economics - leaf habit - leaf size - pollination syndrome - seed mass - wood density

An important tenet of biogeography and comparative ecology is that disjunct assemblages in similar physical environments are functionally more similar to each other than to assemblages from other environments. Temperate rainforests in South America, New Zealand and Australia share certain physiognomic similarities, but we are not aware of any statistical evidence that these disjunct plant assemblages share a distinctive suite of functional traits, or trait combinations. We compiled height, leaf, wood and reproductive traits from the 25 commonest arborescent species at Chilean and New Zealand sites matched for summer rainfall, summer maximum temperatures, and winter minimum temperatures. We then used multivariate tests of trait convergence. Tropical and subtropical assemblages served as out-groups. PERMANOVA showed convergence of trait centroids at the two temperate sites, where trees on average had denser wood and smaller leaves than trees at the (sub)tropical sites. Principal components analyses carried out separately on each assemblage showed that the Chilean and New Zealand assemblages were also the most similar pair in terms of trait relationships, although New Zealand also shared strong similarities with subtropical Argentina. The main axis of variation in both temperate assemblages ranged from small, short-lived understorey trees with soft leaves, to emergents with sclerophyllous leaves and fairly dense wood. However, the New Zealand assemblage was much richer in small trees with soft leaves than its Chilean counterpart; possible historical influences on this difference include conditions favouring radiation of small trees during the late Neogene in New Zealand, competition from Chusquea bamboos in Chile and the historical absence of browsing mammals from New Zealand. Environmental filtering has produced similar values of individual traits in Chile and New Zealand, but only partial convergence of functional trait combinations. As far as we know, this is the first study to statistically test whether disjunct tree assemblages on climatically matched sites are more functionally similar to each other than to assemblages from other environments.

Early plant recruitment stages set the template for the development of vegetation patterns along a hydrological gradient
Fraaije, R.G.A. ; Braak, C.J.F. ter; Verduyn, B. ; Breeman, L.B.S. ; Verhoeven, J.T.A. ; Soons, M.B. - \ 2015
biodiversity - colonization - environmental filtering - lowland streams - niche segregation - plant community assembly - riparian zones - wetland restoration
1. Recruitment processes are critical components of a plant's life cycle. However, in comparison with later stages in the plant life cycle (e.g. competition among adults), relatively little is known about their contribution to the regulation of plant species distribution. Particularly little is known about the individual contributions of the three main recruitment processes—germination, seedling survival, and seedling growth—to community assembly, while quantitative information on these contributions is essential for a more mechanistic understanding of the regulation of plant species distribution and biodiversity. 2. Riparian zones along streams provide a globally-relevant case study for evaluating the importance of the different stages of plant recruitment. The natural hydrological gradients of stream riparian zones are currently being restored after a period of worldwide habitat degradation. To identify how recruitment contributes to vegetation patterns and biodiversity in riparian zones, we carried out field experiments at restored lowland streams. We quantified the germination of introduced seeds, and survival and growth of introduced seedlings of 17 riparian plant species across a gradient from the stream channel to upland. 3. The hydrological gradient of riparian zones acted as a strong environmental filter on all three recruitment processes, through imposing an abiotic limitation (excess water) at low elevations and a resource limitation (water shortage) at higher elevations. Other variables, such as soil organic matter content and nutrient availability, only affected recruitment marginally. 4. Species-specific patterns of environmental filtering initiated niche segregation along the riparian gradient during all three recruitment processes, but particularly during germination and seedling growth. These recruitment niches appeared strongly related to indicator values for adult distribution optima, suggesting that at least some riparian plant species may have evolutionary adaptations that promote recruitment under favourable hydrological conditions for adult growth and reproduction. 5. Our results suggest that strong environmental filtering during germination and seedling growth plays an important role in determining later adult distributions, by forming the spatial template on which all subsequent processes operate. In addition to well-known mechanisms, such as competitive exclusion at the adult stage, environmental filtering during early recruitment stages already strongly affect plant distribution and diversity.
Data from: Changing drivers of species dominance during tropical forest succession
Lohbeck, M.W.M. ; Poorter, L. ; Martinez-Ramos, M. ; Rodriguez-Valázquez, J. ; Breugel, M. van; Bongers, F. - \ 2013
functional convergence / divergence - functional traits - environmental filtering - Kurtosis - light gradient partitioning - secondary succession
1. Deterministic theories predict that local communities assemble from a regional species pool based on niche differences, thus by plant functional adaptations. We tested whether functional traits can also explain patterns in species dominance among the suite of co-occurring species. 2. We predicted that along a gradient of secondary succession the main driver of species dominance changes from environmental filtering in the relatively harsh (dry and hot) early successional conditions, towards increased competitive interactions and limiting similarity in later successional conditions (when light is limited). 3.We used the Kurtosis (K) (a measure of peakedness) of the functional trait distribution of secondary forest communities in high-diversity tropical rainforest in Chiapas, Mexico. The forests ranged 1 to 25 years in age, and we used 8 functional leaf traits related to a plants’ carbon, water and heat balance. We calculated the functional trait distribution based on species dominance, where trait values were weighted by species’ relative basal area, as well as based on species presence, all species counting once. “K-ratio” was subsequently computed by dividing kurtosis based on species dominance by kurtosis based on species presence. If the K-ratio is high, the dominant species are functionally similar and we interpreted this as environmentally driven functional convergence allowing species to become dominant. If the K-ratio is small, dominant species are a functionally dissimilar subset of the species present and we interpreted this as competitively driven functional divergence allowing species to become dominant. 4. We found that in early succession dominant species represent a functionally narrow subset of species with similar traits and in late succession dominant species increasingly represent a wide subset of the species present. This trend was found for traits that reflect photosynthetic performance and light capture, and indicates increased competition for light with succession. No trend was found for traits that indicate defense against herbivory, suggesting no successional changes in herbivore pressure. 5. Synthesis. This is one of the first studies showing that drivers of species dominance change along a gradient of secondary succession. During the early successional time window we evaluated, the importance of environmental filtering as a driving force fades away rapidly, and the importance of niche partitioning for species dominance starts to emerge.
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