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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    Wet and dry tropical forests show opposite successional pathways in wood density but converge over time
    Poorter, L. ; Rozendaal, Danaë ; Bongers, F. ; Almeida-Cortez, Jarcilene S. ; Almeyda Zambrano, Angélica María ; Álvarez, Francisco S. ; Andrade, José Luís ; Villa, Luis Felipe Arreola ; Balvanera, Patricia ; Becknell, Justin M. ; Bentos, Tony V. ; Bhaskar, Radika ; Boukili, Vanessa ; Brancalion, Pedro H.S. ; Broadbent, Eben N. ; César, Ricardo Gomes ; Chave, Jerome ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Colletta, Gabriel Dalla ; Craven, Dylan ; Jong, Ben H.J. de; Denslow, Julie S. ; Dent, Daisy H. ; DeWalt, Saara J. ; García, Elisa Díaz ; Dupuy, Juan M. ; Durán, Sandra M. ; Espírito Santo, Mário Marcos ; Fandiño, María C. ; Fernandes, Geraldo Wilson ; Finegan, Bryan ; Moser, Vanessa Granda ; Hall, Jefferson S. ; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis ; Jakovac, A.C. ; Junqueira, André B. ; Kennard, Deborah ; Lebrija-Trejos, Edwin ; Letcher, Susan G. ; Lohbeck, M.W.M. ; Lopez, Omar R. ; Marín-Spiotta, Erika ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Martins, Sebastião Venâncio ; Massoca, Paulo E.S. ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Mesquita, Rita ; Mora, Francisco ; Souza Moreno, Vanessa De; Müller, Sandra C. ; Muñoz, Rodrigo ; Muscarella, Robert ; Oliveira Neto, Silvio Nolasco De; Nunes, Yule Roberta Ferreira ; Ochoa-Gaona, Susana ; Paz, Horacio ; Pena Claros, M. ; Piotto, Daniel ; Ruíz, Jorge ; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía ; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo ; Schwartz, Naomi B. ; Steininger, Marc K. ; Thomas, William Wayt ; Toledo, Marisol ; Uriarte, Maria ; Breugel, Michiel van; Wal, Hans van der - \ 2019
    Wageningen University & Research
    secondary succession - community assembly - community-weighted mean - wood density - Neotropics - tropical forest - Latin America
    We analyse how community wood density (WD) recovers during secondary tropical forest succession. In wet forests succession proceeds from low to high WD, in dry forests from high to low WD, resulting in convergence of community WD of dry and wet forests over time, as vegetation cover builds up.
    Wet and dry tropical forests show opposite successional pathways in wood density but converge over time
    Poorter, Lourens ; Rozendaal, Danaë M.A. ; Bongers, Frans ; Almeida-Cortez, Jarcilene S. de; Almeyda Zambrano, Angélica María ; Álvarez, Francisco S. ; Andrade, José Luís ; Villa, Luis Felipe Arreola ; Balvanera, Patricia ; Becknell, Justin M. ; Bentos, Tony V. ; Bhaskar, Radika ; Boukili, Vanessa ; Brancalion, Pedro H.S. ; Broadbent, Eben N. ; César, Ricardo G. ; Chave, Jerome ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Colletta, Gabriel Dalla ; Craven, Dylan ; Jong, Ben H.J. de; Denslow, Julie S. ; Dent, Daisy H. ; DeWalt, Saara J. ; García, Elisa Díaz ; Dupuy, Juan Manuel ; Durán, Sandra M. ; Espírito Santo, Mário M. ; Fandiño, María C. ; Fernandes, Geraldo Wilson ; Finegan, Bryan ; Moser, Vanessa Granda ; Hall, Jefferson S. ; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis ; Jakovac, Catarina C. ; Junqueira, André B. ; Kennard, Deborah ; Lebrija-Trejos, Edwin ; Letcher, Susan G. ; Lohbeck, Madelon ; Lopez, Omar R. ; Marín-Spiotta, Erika ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Martins, Sebastião V. ; Massoca, Paulo E.S. ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Mesquita, Rita ; Mora, Francisco ; Souza Moreno, Vanessa de; Müller, Sandra C. ; Muñoz, Rodrigo ; Muscarella, Robert ; Oliveira Neto, Silvio Nolasco de; Nunes, Yule R.F. ; Ochoa-Gaona, Susana ; Paz, Horacio ; Peña-Claros, Marielos ; Piotto, Daniel ; Ruíz, Jorge ; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía ; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo ; Schwartz, Naomi B. ; Steininger, Marc K. ; Thomas, William Wayt ; Toledo, Marisol ; Uriarte, Maria ; Utrera, Luis P. ; Breugel, Michiel van; Sande, Masha T. van der; Wal, Hans van der; Veloso, Maria D.M. ; Vester, Hans F.M. ; Vieira, Ima C.G. ; Villa, Pedro Manuel ; Williamson, G.B. ; Wright, S.J. ; Zanini, Kátia J. ; Zimmerman, Jess K. ; Westoby, Mark - \ 2019
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 3 (2019). - ISSN 2397-334X - p. 928 - 934.

    Tropical forests are converted at an alarming rate for agricultural use and pastureland, but also regrow naturally through secondary succession. For successful forest restoration, it is essential to understand the mechanisms of secondary succession. These mechanisms may vary across forest types, but analyses across broad spatial scales are lacking. Here, we analyse forest recovery using 1,403 plots that differ in age since agricultural abandonment from 50 sites across the Neotropics. We analyse changes in community composition using species-specific stem wood density (WD), which is a key trait for plant growth, survival and forest carbon storage. In wet forest, succession proceeds from low towards high community WD (acquisitive towards conservative trait values), in line with standard successional theory. However, in dry forest, succession proceeds from high towards low community WD (conservative towards acquisitive trait values), probably because high WD reflects drought tolerance in harsh early successional environments. Dry season intensity drives WD recovery by influencing the start and trajectory of succession, resulting in convergence of the community WD over time as vegetation cover builds up. These ecological insights can be used to improve species selection for reforestation. Reforestation species selected to establish a first protective canopy layer should, among other criteria, ideally have a similar WD to the early successional communities that dominate under the prevailing macroclimatic conditions.

    Biodiversity recovery of Neotropical secondary forests
    Rozendaal, Danaë M.A. ; Bongers, Frans ; Aide, T.M. ; Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban ; Ascarrunz, Nataly ; Balvanera, Patricia ; Becknell, Justin M. ; Bentos, Tony V. ; Brancalion, Pedro H.S. ; Cabral, George A.L. ; Calvo-Rodriguez, Sofia ; Chave, Jerome ; César, Ricardo G. ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Condit, Richard ; Dallinga, Jorn S. ; Almeida-Cortez, Jarcilene S. De; Jong, Ben de; Oliveira, Alexandre De; Denslow, Julie S. ; Dent, Daisy H. ; Dewalt, Saara J. ; Dupuy, Juan Manuel ; Durán, Sandra M. ; Dutrieux, Loïc P. ; Espírito-Santo, Mario M. ; Fandino, María C. ; Fernandes, G.W. ; Finegan, Bryan ; García, Hernando ; Gonzalez, Noel ; Moser, Vanessa Granda ; Hall, Jefferson S. ; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis ; Hubbell, Stephen ; Jakovac, Catarina C. ; Hernández, Alma Johanna ; Junqueira, André B. ; Kennard, Deborah ; Larpin, Denis ; Letcher, Susan G. ; Licona, Juan-Carlos ; Lebrija-trejos, Edwin ; Marín-Spiotta, Erika ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Massoca, Paulo E.S. ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Mesquita, Rita C.G. ; Mora, Francisco ; Müller, Sandra C. ; Muñoz, Rodrigo ; Oliveira Neto, Silvio Nolasco De; Norden, Natalia ; Nunes, Yule R.F. ; Ochoa-Gaona, Susana ; Ortiz-Malavassi, Edgar ; Ostertag, Rebecca ; Peña-Caros, Marielos ; Pérez-García, Eduardo A. ; Piotto, Daniel ; Powers, Jennifer S. ; Aguilar-Cano, José ; Rodriguez-Buritica, Susana ; Rodríguez-Velázquez, Jorge ; Romero-Romero, Marco Antonio ; Ruíz, Jorge ; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo ; Almeida, Arlete Silva De; Silver, Whendee L. ; Schwartz, Naomi B. ; Thomas, William Wayt ; Toledo, Marisol ; Uriarte, Maria ; Sá Sampaio, Everardo Valadares De; Breugel, Michiel van; Wal, Hans van der; Martins, Sebastião Venâncio ; Veloso, Maria D.M. ; Vester, Hans F.M. ; Vicentini, Alberto ; Vieira, Ima C.G. ; Villa, Pedro ; Williamson, G.B. ; Zanini, Kátia J. ; Zimmerman, Jess ; Poorter, Lourens - \ 2019
    Science Advances 5 (2019)3. - ISSN 2375-2548 - 10 p.
    Old-growth tropical forests harbor an immense diversity of tree species but are rapidly being cleared, while secondary forests that regrow on abandoned agricultural lands increase in extent. We assess how tree species richness and composition recover during secondary succession across gradients in environmental conditions and anthropogenic disturbance in an unprecedented multisite analysis for the Neotropics. Secondary forests recover remarkably fast in species richness but slowly in species composition. Secondary forests take a median time of five decades to recover the species richness of old-growth forest (80% recovery after 20 years) based on rarefaction analysis. Full recovery of species composition takes centuries (only 34% recovery after 20 years). A dual strategy that maintains both old-growth forests and species-rich secondary forests is therefore crucial for biodiversity conservation in human-modified tropical landscapes.
    Legume abundance along successional and rainfall gradients in Neotropical forests
    Gei, Maga ; Rozendaal, Danaë M.A. ; Poorter, Lourens ; Bongers, Frans ; Sprent, Janet I. ; Garner, Mira D. ; Aide, T.M. ; Andrade, José Luis ; Balvanera, Patricia ; Becknell, Justin M. ; Brancalion, Pedro H.S. ; Cabral, George A.L. ; César, Ricardo Gomes ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Cole, Rebecca J. ; Colletta, Gabriel Dalla ; Jong, Ben De; Denslow, Julie S. ; Dent, Daisy H. ; Dewalt, Saara J. ; Dupuy, Juan Manuel ; Durán, Sandra M. ; Espírito Santo, Mário Marcos Do; Fernandes, G.W. ; Nunes, Yule Roberta Ferreira ; Finegan, Bryan ; Moser, Vanessa Granda ; Hall, Jefferson S. ; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis ; Junqueira, André B. ; Kennard, Deborah ; Lebrija-Trejos, Edwin ; Letcher, Susan G. ; Lohbeck, Madelon ; Marín-Spiotta, Erika ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Menge, Duncan N.L. ; Mora, Francisco ; Muñoz, Rodrigo ; Muscarella, Robert ; Ochoa-Gaona, Susana ; Orihuela-Belmonte, Edith ; Ostertag, Rebecca ; Peña-Claros, Marielos ; Pérez-García, Eduardo A. ; Piotto, Daniel ; Reich, Peter B. ; Reyes-García, Casandra ; Rodríguez-Velázquez, Jorge ; Romero-Pérez, I.E. ; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía ; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo ; Schwartz, Naomi B. ; Almeida, Arlete Silva De; Almeida-Cortez, Jarcilene S. ; Silver, Whendee ; Souza Moreno, Vanessa De; Sullivan, Benjamin W. ; Swenson, Nathan G. ; Uriarte, Maria ; Breugel, Michiel Van; Wal, Hans Van Der; Veloso, Maria Das Dores Magalhães ; Vester, Hans F.M. ; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães ; Zimmerman, Jess K. ; Powers, Jennifer S. - \ 2018
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 2 (2018)7. - ISSN 2397-334X - p. 1104 - 1111.
    The nutrient demands of regrowing tropical forests are partly satisfied by nitrogen-fixing legume trees, but our understanding of the abundance of those species is biased towards wet tropical regions. Here we show how the abundance of Leguminosae is affected by both recovery from disturbance and large-scale rainfall gradients through a synthesis of forest inventory plots from a network of 42 Neotropical forest chronosequences. During the first three decades of natural forest regeneration, legume basal area is twice as high in dry compared with wet secondary forests. The tremendous ecological success of legumes in recently disturbed, water-limited forests is likely to be related to both their reduced leaflet size and ability to fix N2, which together enhance legume drought tolerance and water-use efficiency. Earth system models should incorporate these large-scale successional and climatic patterns of legume dominance to provide more accurate estimates of the maximum potential for natural nitrogen fixation across tropical forests.
    Phylogenetic classification of the world's tropical forests
    Slik, J.W.F. ; Franklin, Janet ; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor ; Field, Richard ; Aguilar, Salomon ; Aguirre, Nikolay ; Ahumada, Jorge ; Aiba, Shin Ichiro ; Alves, Luciana F. ; Anitha, K. ; Avella, Andres ; Mora, Francisco ; Aymard, Gerardo A.C. ; Báez, Selene ; Balvanera, Patricia ; Bastian, Meredith L. ; Bastin, Jean François ; Bellingham, Peter J. ; Berg, Eduardo Van Den; Conceição Bispo, Polyanna Da; Boeckx, Pascal ; Boehning-Gaese, Katrin ; Bongers, Frans ; Boyle, Brad ; Brambach, Fabian ; Brearley, Francis Q. ; Brown, Sandra ; Chai, Shauna Lee ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Chen, Shengbin ; Chhang, Phourin ; Chuyong, George ; Ewango, Corneille ; Coronado, Indiana M. ; Cristóbal-Azkarate, Jurgi ; Culmsee, Heike ; Damas, Kipiro ; Dattaraja, H.S. ; Davidar, Priya ; DeWalt, Saara J. ; Din, Hazimah ; Drake, Donald R. ; Duque, Alvaro ; Durigan, Giselda ; Eichhorn, Karl ; Eler, Eduardo Schmidt ; Enoki, Tsutomu ; Ensslin, Andreas ; Fandohan, Adandé Belarmain ; Farwig, Nina ; Feeley, Kenneth J. ; Fischer, Markus ; Forshed, Olle ; Garcia, Queila Souza ; Garkoti, Satish Chandra ; Gillespie, Thomas W. ; Gillet, Jean Francois ; Gonmadje, Christelle ; Granzow-De La Cerda, Iñigo ; Griffith, Daniel M. ; Grogan, James ; Hakeem, Khalid Rehman ; Harris, David J. ; Harrison, Rhett D. ; Hector, Andy ; Hemp, Andreas ; Homeier, Jürgen ; Hussain, M.S. ; Ibarra-Manríquez, Guillermo ; Hanum, I.F. ; Imai, Nobuo ; Jansen, Patrick A. ; Joly, Carlos Alfredo ; Joseph, Shijo ; Kartawinata, Kuswata ; Kearsley, Elizabeth ; Kelly, Daniel L. ; Kessler, Michael ; Killeen, Timothy J. ; Kooyman, Robert M. ; Laumonier, Yves ; Laurance, Susan G. ; Laurance, William F. ; Lawes, Michael J. ; Letcher, Susan G. ; Lindsell, Jeremy ; Lovett, Jon ; Lozada, Jose ; Lu, Xinghui ; Lykke, Anne Mette ; Mahmud, Khairil Bin; Mahayani, Ni Putu Diana ; Mansor, Asyraf ; Marshall, Andrew R. ; Martin, Emanuel H. ; Matos, Darley Calderado Leal ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Melo, Felipe P.L. ; Mendoza, Zhofre Huberto Aguirre ; Metali, Faizah ; Medjibe, Vincent P. ; Metzger, Jean Paul ; Metzker, Thiago ; Mohandass, D. ; Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A. ; Muñoz, Rodrigo ; Nurtjahy, Eddy ; Oliveira, Eddie Lenza De; Onrizal, ; Parolin, Pia ; Parren, Marc ; Parthasarathy, N. ; Paudel, Ekananda ; Perez, Rolando ; Pérez-García, Eduardo A. ; Pommer, Ulf ; Poorter, Lourens ; Qi, Lan ; Piedade, Maria Teresa F. ; Pinto, José Roberto Rodrigues ; Poulsen, Axel Dalberg ; Poulsen, John R. ; Powers, Jennifer S. ; Prasad, Rama Chandra ; Puyravaud, Jean Philippe ; Rangel, Orlando ; Reitsma, Jan ; Rocha, Diogo S.B. ; Rolim, Samir ; Rovero, Francesco ; Rozak, Andes ; Ruokolainen, Kalle ; Rutishauser, Ervan ; Rutten, Gemma ; Mohd Said, Mohd Nizam ; Saiter, Felipe Z. ; Saner, Philippe ; Santos, Braulio ; Santos, João Roberto Dos; Sarker, Swapan Kumar ; Schmitt, Christine B. ; Schoengart, Jochen ; Schulze, Mark ; Sheil, Douglas ; Sist, Plinio ; Souza, Alexandre F. ; Spironello, Wilson Roberto ; Sposito, Tereza ; Steinmetz, Robert ; Stevart, Tariq ; Suganuma, Marcio Seiji ; Sukri, Rahayu ; Sultana, Aisha ; Sukumar, Raman ; Sunderland, Terry ; Supriyadi, S. ; Suresh, H.S. ; Suzuki, Eizi ; Tabarelli, Marcelo ; Tang, Jianwei ; Tanner, Ed V.J. ; Targhetta, Natalia ; Theilade, Ida ; Thomas, Duncan ; Timberlake, Jonathan ; Morisson Valeriano, Márcio De; Valkenburg, Johan Van; Do, Tran Van; Sam, Hoang Van; Vandermeer, John H. ; Verbeeck, Hans ; Vetaas, Ole Reidar ; Adekunle, Victor ; Vieira, Simone A. ; Webb, Campbell O. ; Webb, Edward L. ; Whitfeld, Timothy ; Wich, Serge ; Williams, John ; Wiser, Susan ; Wittmann, Florian ; Yang, Xiaobo ; Yao, C.Y.A. ; Yap, Sandra L. ; Zahawi, Rakan A. ; Zakaria, Rahmad ; Zang, Runguo - \ 2018
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 (2018)8. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 1837 - 1842.
    Biogeographic legacies - Forest classification - Forest functional similarity - Phylogenetic community distance - Tropical forests

    Knowledge about the biogeographic affinities of the world's tropical forests helps to better understand regional differences in forest structure, diversity, composition, and dynamics. Such understanding will enable anticipation of region-specific responses to global environmental change. Modern phylogenies, in combination with broad coverage of species inventory data, now allow for global biogeographic analyses that take species evolutionary distance into account. Here we present a classification of the world's tropical forests based on their phylogenetic similarity. We identify five principal floristic regions and their floristic relationships: (i) Indo-Pacific, (ii) Subtropical, (iii) African, (iv) American, and (v) Dry forests. Our results do not support the traditional neo- versus paleotropical forest division but instead separate the combined American and African forests from their Indo-Pacific counterparts. We also find indications for the existence of a global dry forest region, with representatives in America, Africa, Madagascar, and India. Additionally, a northern-hemisphere Subtropical forest region was identified with representatives in Asia and America, providing support for a link between Asian and American northernhemisphere forests.

    Biodiversity and climate determine the functioning of Neotropical forests
    Poorter, L. ; Sande, M.T. van der; Arets, E.J.M.M. ; Ascarrunz, N. ; Enquist, B.J. ; Finegan, B. ; Licona, J.C. ; Martinez-Ramos, M. ; Mazzei, L. ; Meave, J. ; Munoz, R. ; Nytch, C.J. ; Oliveira, A.A. de; Perez-Garcia, E.A. ; Prado-Junior, J.A. ; Rodriguez-Velazquez, J. ; Ruschel, A.R. ; Salgado Negret, B. ; Schiavini, I. ; Swenson, N.G. ; Tenorio, E.A. ; Thompson, J. ; Toledo, M. ; Uriarte, M. ; Hout, P. van der; Zimmerman, J.K. ; Pena Claros, M. - \ 2017
    Wageningen University & Research
    biodiversity - biomass - carbon - ecosystem functioning - forest dynamics - productivity - soil fertility - tropical forest - water
    Tropical forests account for a quarter of the global carbon storage and a third of the terrestrial productivity. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of environmental factors and forest attributes for ecosystem functioning, especially for the tropics. This study aims to relate aboveground biomass (AGB), biomass dynamics (i.e., net biomass productivity and its underlying demographic drivers: biomass recruitment, growth and mortality) to forest attributes (tree diversity, community-mean traits, and stand basal area) and environmental conditions (water availability, soil fertility and disturbance). We used data from 26 sites, 201 one-ha plots and >92,000 trees distributed across the Neotropics. We quantified for each site water availability and soil total exchangeable bases and for each plot three key community-weighted mean functional traits that are important for biomass stocks and productivity. We used structural equation models to test the hypothesis that all drivers have independent, positive effects on biomass stocks and dynamics. Of the relationships analysed, vegetation attributes were more frequently significantly associated with biomass stocks and dynamics than environmental conditions (in 67% versus 33% of the relationships). High climatic water availability increased biomass growth and stocks, light disturbance increased biomass growth, and soil bases had no effect. Rarefied tree species richness had consistent positive relationships with biomass stocks and dynamics, probably because of niche complementarity, but was not related to net biomass productivity. Community-mean traits were good predictors of biomass stocks and dynamics. Water availability has a strong positive effect on biomass stocks and growth, and a future predicted increase in (atmospheric) drought might, therefore, potentially reduce carbon storage. Forest attributes – including species diversity and community-weighted mean traits – have independent and important relationships with AGB stocks, dynamics, and ecosystem functioning, not only in relatively simple temperate systems, but also in structurally complex hyper-diverse tropical forests.
    Biodiversity and climate determine the functioning of Neotropical forests
    Poorter, Lourens ; Sande, Masha T. van der; Arets, Eric J.M.M. ; Ascarrunz, Nataly ; Enquist, Brian ; Finegan, Bryan ; Licona, Juan Carlos ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Mazzei, Lucas ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Muñoz, Rodrigo ; Nytch, Christopher J. ; Oliveira, Alexandre A. de; Pérez-García, Eduardo A. ; Prado-junior, Jamir ; Rodríguez-Velázques, Jorge ; Ruschel, Ademir Roberto ; Salgado-Negret, Beatriz ; Schiavini, Ivan ; Swenson, Nathan G. ; Tenorio, Elkin A. ; Thompson, Jill ; Toledo, Marisol ; Uriarte, Maria ; Hout, Peter van der; Zimmerman, Jess K. ; Peña-Claros, Marielos - \ 2017
    Global Ecology and Biogeography 26 (2017)12. - ISSN 1466-822X - p. 1423 - 1434.
    Aim: Tropical forests account for a quarter of the global carbon storage and a third of the terrestrial productivity. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of environmental factors and forest attributes for ecosystem functioning, especially for the tropics. This study aims to relate aboveground biomass (AGB) and biomass dynamics (i.e., net biomass productivity and its underlying demographic drivers: biomass recruitment, growth and mortality) to forest attributes (tree diversity, community-mean traits and stand basal area) and environmental conditions (water availability, soil fertility and disturbance). Location: Neotropics. Methods: We used data from 26 sites, 201 1-ha plots and >92,000 trees distributed across the Neotropics. We quantified for each site water availability and soil total exchangeable bases and for each plot three key community-weighted mean functional traits that are important for biomass stocks and productivity. We used structural equation models to test the hypothesis that all drivers have independent, positive effects on biomass stocks and dynamics. Results: Of the relationships analysed, vegetation attributes were more frequently associated significantly with biomass stocks and dynamics than environmental conditions (in 67 vs. 33% of the relationships). High climatic water availability increased biomass growth and stocks, light disturbance increased biomass growth, and soil bases had no effect. Rarefied tree species richness had consistent positive relationships with biomass stocks and dynamics, probably because of niche complementarity, but was not related to net biomass productivity. Community-mean traits were good predictors of biomass stocks and dynamics. Main conclusions: Water availability has a strong positive effect on biomass stocks and growth, and a future predicted increase in (atmospheric) drought might, therefore, potentially reduce carbon storage. Forest attributes, including species diversity and community-weighted mean traits, have independent and important relationships with AGB stocks, dynamics and ecosystem functioning, not only in relatively simple temperate systems, but also in structurally complex hyper-diverse tropical forests.
    Demographic Drivers of Aboveground Biomass Dynamics During Secondary Succession in Neotropical Dry and Wet Forests
    Rozendaal, Danaë M.A. ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Arreola-Villa, Felipe ; Balvanera, Patricia ; Bentos, Tony V. ; Dupuy, Juan M. ; Hernández-Stefanoni, J.L. ; Jakovac, Catarina C. ; Lebrija-Trejos, Edwin E. ; Lohbeck, Madelon ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Massoca, Paulo E.S. ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Mesquita, Rita C.G. ; Mora, Francisco ; Pérez-García, Eduardo A. ; Romero-Pérez, I.E. ; Saenz-Pedroza, Irving ; Breugel, Michiel van; Williamson, G.B. ; Bongers, Frans - \ 2017
    Ecosystems 20 (2017)2. - ISSN 1432-9840 - p. 340 - 353.
    Biomass accumulation - carbon sink - forest dynamics - Neotropics - second-growth tropical forest - species’ dominance - tree demography

    The magnitude of the carbon sink in second-growth forests is expected to vary with successional biomass dynamics resulting from tree growth, recruitment, and mortality, and with the effects of climate on these dynamics. We compare aboveground biomass dynamics of dry and wet Neotropical forests, based on monitoring data gathered over 3–16 years in forests covering the first 25 years of succession. We estimated standing biomass, annual biomass change, and contributions of tree growth, recruitment, and mortality. We also evaluated tree species’ contributions to biomass dynamics. Absolute rates of biomass change were lower in dry forests, 2.3 and 1.9 Mg ha−1 y−1, after 5–15 and 15–25 years after abandonment, respectively, than in wet forests, with 4.7 and 6.1 Mg ha−1 y−1, in the same age classes. Biomass change was largely driven by tree growth, accounting for at least 48% of biomass change across forest types and age classes. Mortality also contributed strongly to biomass change in wet forests of 5–15 years, whereas its contribution became important later in succession in dry forests. Biomass dynamics tended to be dominated by fewer species in early-successional dry than wet forests, but dominance was strong in both forest types. Overall, our results indicate that biomass dynamics during succession are faster in Neotropical wet than dry forests, with high tree mortality earlier in succession in the wet forests. Long-term monitoring of second-growth tropical forest plots is crucial for improving estimates of annual biomass change, and for enhancing understanding of the underlying mechanisms and demographic drivers.

    Multiple successional pathways in human-modified tropical landscapes : New insights from forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research
    Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor ; Melo, Felipe P.L. ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Bongers, Frans ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Norden, Natalia ; Santos, Bráulio A. ; Leal, Inara R. ; Tabarelli, Marcelo - \ 2017
    Biological Reviews 92 (2017)1. - ISSN 1464-7931 - p. 326 - 340.
    Biodiversity conservation - Ecosystem services - Forest recovery - Land-use transformation - Landscape restoration - Landscape structure

    Old-growth tropical forests are being extensively deforested and fragmented worldwide. Yet forest recovery through succession has led to an expansion of secondary forests in human-modified tropical landscapes (HMTLs). Secondary forests thus emerge as a potential repository for tropical biodiversity, and also as a source of essential ecosystem functions and services in HMTLs. Such critical roles are controversial, however, as they depend on successional, landscape and socio-economic dynamics, which can vary widely within and across landscapes and regions. Understanding the main drivers of successional pathways of disturbed tropical forests is critically needed for improving management, conservation, and restoration strategies. Here, we combine emerging knowledge from tropical forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research to identify the main driving forces shaping successional pathways at different spatial scales. We also explore causal connections between land-use dynamics and the level of predictability of successional pathways, and examine potential implications of such connections to determine the importance of secondary forests for biodiversity conservation in HMTLs. We show that secondary succession (SS) in tropical landscapes is a multifactorial phenomenon affected by a myriad of forces operating at multiple spatio-temporal scales. SS is relatively fast and more predictable in recently modified landscapes and where well-preserved biodiversity-rich native forests are still present in the landscape. Yet the increasing variation in landscape spatial configuration and matrix heterogeneity in landscapes with intermediate levels of disturbance increases the uncertainty of successional pathways. In landscapes that have suffered extensive and intensive human disturbances, however, succession can be slow or arrested, with impoverished assemblages and reduced potential to deliver ecosystem functions and services. We conclude that: (i) succession must be examined using more comprehensive explanatory models, providing information about the forces affecting not only the presence but also the persistence of species and ecological groups, particularly of those taxa expected to be extirpated from HMTLs; (ii) SS research should integrate new aspects from forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research to address accurately the potential of secondary forests to serve as biodiversity repositories; and (iii) secondary forest stands, as a dynamic component of HMTLs, must be incorporated as key elements of conservation planning; i.e. secondary forest stands must be actively managed (e.g. using assisted forest restoration) according to conservation goals at broad spatial scales.

    Data from: Environmental gradients and the evolution of successional habitat specialization: a test case with 14 Neotropical forest sites
    Letcher, Susan G. ; Lasky, Jesse R. ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Norden, Natalia ; Wright, S.J. ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Pérez-García, Eduardo A. ; Muñoz, Rodrigo ; Romero-Pérez, Eunice ; Andrade, Ana ; Balvanera, Patricia ; Bongers, Frans ; Lohbeck, Madelon - \ 2016
    State University of New York (SUNY)
    Determinants of plant community diversity and structure - Life History Evolution - Precipitation gradient - Tropical wet forest - Tropical dry forest - Functional traits - phylogeny - Pioneer species
    1. Successional gradients are ubiquitous in nature, yet few studies have systematically examined the evolutionary origins of taxa that specialize at different successional stages. Here we quantify successional habitat specialization in Neotropical forest trees and evaluate its evolutionary lability along a precipitation gradient. Theoretically, successional habitat specialization should be more evolutionarily conserved in wet forests than in dry forests due to more extreme microenvironmental differentiation between early and late successional stages in wet forest. 2. We applied a robust multinomial classification model to samples of primary and secondary forest trees from 14 Neotropical lowland forest sites spanning a precipitation gradient from 788 to 4000 mm annual rainfall, identifying species that are old growth specialists and secondary forest specialists in each site. We constructed phylogenies for the classified taxa at each site and for the entire set of classified taxa, and tested whether successional habitat specialization is phylogenetically conserved. We further investigated differences in the functional traits of species specializing in secondary vs. old-growth forest along the precipitation gradient, expecting different trait associations with secondary forest specialists in wet vs. dry forests since water availability is more limiting in dry forests and light availability more limiting in wet forests. 3. Successional habitat specialization is non-randomly distributed in the angiosperm phylogeny, with a tendency towards phylogenetic conservatism overall and a trend toward stronger conservatism in wet forests than in dry forests. However, the specialists come from all the major branches of the angiosperm phylogeny, and very few functional traits showed any consistent relationships with successional habitat specialization in either wet or dry forests. 4. Synthesis: The niche conservatism evident in the habitat specialization of Neotropical trees suggests a role for radiation into different successional habitats in the evolution of species-rich genera, though the diversity of functional traits that lead to success in different successional habitats complicates analyses at the community scale. Examining the distribution of particular lineages with respect to successional gradients may provide more insight into the role of successional habitat specialization in the evolution of species-rich taxa.
    Successional dynamics in Neotropical forests are as uncertain as they are predictable
    Norden, Natalia ; Angarita, H.A. ; Bongers, Frans ; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel ; Cerda, I.G. De la; Breugel, Michiel Van; Lebrija-Trejos, Edwin ; Meave, J.A. ; Vandermeer, John ; Williamson, G.B. ; Finegan, Bryan ; Mesquita, Rita ; Chazdon, R.L. - \ 2015
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (2015)26. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 8013 - 8018.
    Dynamical models - Predictability - Succession - Tropical secondary forests - Uncertainty

    Although forest succession has traditionally been approached as a deterministic process, successional trajectories of vegetation change vary widely, even among nearby stands with similar environmental conditions and disturbance histories. Here, we provide the first attempt, to our knowledge, to quantify predictability and uncertainty during succession based on the most extensive long-term datasets ever assembled for Neotropical forests. We develop a novel approach that integrates deterministic and stochastic components into different candidate models describing the dynamical interactions among three widely used and interrelated forest attributes - stem density, basal area, and species density. Within each of the seven study sites, successional trajectories were highly idiosyncratic, even when controlling for prior land use, environment, and initial conditions in these attributes. Plot factors were far more important than stand age in explaining successional trajectories. For each site, the best-fit model was able to capture the complete set of time series in certain attributes only when both the deterministic and stochastic components were set to similar magnitudes. Surprisingly, predictability of stem density, basal area, and species density did not show consistent trends across attributes, study sites, or land use history, and was independent of plot size and time series length. The model developed here represents the best approach, to date, for characterizing autogenic successional dynamics and demonstrates the low predictability of successional trajectories. These high levels of uncertainty suggest that the impacts of allogenic factors on rates of change during tropical forest succession are far more pervasive than previously thought, challenging the way ecologists view and investigate forest regeneration.

    Environmental gradients and the evolution of successional habitat specialization : A test case with 14 Neotropical forest sites
    Letcher, Susan G. ; Lasky, Jesse R. ; Chazdon, Robin L. ; Norden, Natalia ; Wright, S.J. ; Meave, Jorge A. ; Pérez-García, Eduardo A. ; Muñoz, Rodrigo ; Romero-Pérez, Eunice ; Andrade, Ana ; Balvanera, Patricia ; Bongers, Frans ; Lohbeck, Madelon - \ 2015
    Journal of Ecology 103 (2015)5. - ISSN 0022-0477 - p. 1276 - 1290.
    Determinants of plant community diversity and structure - Functional traits - Life-history evolution - Phylogeny - Pioneer species - Precipitation gradient - Tropical dry forest - Tropical wet forest

    Successional gradients are ubiquitous in nature, yet few studies have systematically examined the evolutionary origins of taxa that specialize at different successional stages. Here we quantify successional habitat specialization in Neotropical forest trees and evaluate its evolutionary lability along a precipitation gradient. Theoretically, successional habitat specialization should be more evolutionarily conserved in wet forests than in dry forests due to more extreme microenvironmental differentiation between early and late-successional stages in wet forest. We applied a robust multinomial classification model to samples of primary and secondary forest trees from 14 Neotropical lowland forest sites spanning a precipitation gradient from 788 to 4000 mm annual rainfall, identifying species that are old-growth specialists and secondary forest specialists in each site. We constructed phylogenies for the classified taxa at each site and for the entire set of classified taxa and tested whether successional habitat specialization is phylogenetically conserved. We further investigated differences in the functional traits of species specializing in secondary vs. old-growth forest along the precipitation gradient, expecting different trait associations with secondary forest specialists in wet vs. dry forests since water availability is more limiting in dry forests and light availability more limiting in wet forests. Successional habitat specialization is non-randomly distributed in the angiosperm phylogeny, with a tendency towards phylogenetic conservatism overall and a trend towards stronger conservatism in wet forests than in dry forests. However, the specialists come from all the major branches of the angiosperm phylogeny, and very few functional traits showed any consistent relationships with successional habitat specialization in either wet or dry forests. Synthesis. The niche conservatism evident in the habitat specialization of Neotropical trees suggests a role for radiation into different successional habitats in the evolution of species-rich genera, though the diversity of functional traits that lead to success in different successional habitats complicates analyses at the community scale. Examining the distribution of particular lineages with respect to successional gradients may provide more insight into the role of successional habitat specialization in the evolution of species-rich taxa.

    Functional Trait Strategies of Trees in Dry and Wet Tropical Forests Are Similar but Differ in Their Consequences for Succession
    Lohbeck, M.W.M. ; Lebrija-Trejos, E.E. ; Martinez-Ramos, M. ; Meave, J.A. ; Poorter, L. ; Bongers, F. - \ 2015
    PLoS ONE 10 (2015)4. - ISSN 1932-6203
    plant economics spectrum - leaf life-spans - seed size - secondary succession - neotropical forests - shade-tolerance - woody-plants - trade-off - drought - dispersal
    Global plant trait studies have revealed fundamental trade-offs in plant resource economics. We evaluated such trait trade-offs during secondary succession in two species-rich tropical ecosystems that contrast in precipitation: dry deciduous and wet evergreen forests of Mexico. Species turnover with succession in dry forest largely relates to increasing water availability and in wet forest to decreasing light availability. We hypothesized that while functional trait trade-offs are similar in the two forest systems, the successful plant strategies in these communities will be different, as contrasting filters affect species turnover. Research was carried out in 15 dry secondary forest sites (5-63 years after abandonment) and in 17 wet secondary forest sites (
    Successional changes in functional composition contrast for dry and wet tropical forest
    Lohbeck, M.W.M. ; Poorter, L. ; Lebrija-Trejos, E.E. ; Martinez-Ramos, M. ; Meave, J.A. ; Paz, H. ; Perez-Garcia, E.A. ; Romero-Perez, I.E. ; Tauro, A. ; Bongers, F. - \ 2013
    Ecology 94 (2013)6. - ISSN 0012-9658 - p. 1211 - 1216.
    leaf life-span - secondary succession - seed size - neotropical forests - economics spectrum - woody-plants - traits - mortality - diversity - worldwide
    We tested whether and how functional composition changes with succession in dry deciduous and wet evergreen forests of Mexico. We hypothesized that compositional changes during succession in dry forest were mainly determined by increasing water availability leading to community functional changes from conservative to acquisitive strategies, and in wet forest by decreasing light availability leading to changes from acquisitive to conservative strategies. Research was carried out in 15 dry secondary forest plots (5–63 years after abandonment) and 17 wet secondary forest plots (
    Predicting Tropical Dry Forest Successional Attributes from Space: Is the Key Hidden in Image Texture?
    Gallardo-Cruz, J.A. ; Meave, J.A. ; Gonzalez, E.J. ; Lebrija Trejos, E.E. ; Romero-Romero, M.A. ; Perez-Garcia, E.A. ; Gallardo-Cruz, R. ; Hernandez-Stefanoni, J.L. ; Martorell, C. - \ 2012
    PLoS ONE 7 (2012)2. - ISSN 1932-6203
    greenhouse-gas emissions - thematic mapper imagery - remotely-sensed data - landsat tm data - secondary forest - biomass estimation - cross-validation - climate-change - rain-forest - countryside biogeography
    Biodiversity conservation and ecosystem-service provision will increasingly depend on the existence of secondary vegetation. Our success in achieving these goals will be determined by our ability to accurately estimate the structure and diversity of such communities at broad geographic scales. We examined whether the texture (the spatial variation of the image elements) of very high-resolution satellite imagery can be used for this purpose. In 14 fallows of different ages and one mature forest stand in a seasonally dry tropical forest landscape, we estimated basal area, canopy cover, stem density, species richness, Shannon index, Simpson index, and canopy height. The first six attributes were also estimated for a subset comprising the tallest plants. We calculated 40 texture variables based on the red and the near infrared bands, and EVI and NDVI, and selected the best-fit linear models describing each vegetation attribute based on them. Basal area (R-2 = 0.93), vegetation height and cover (0.89), species richness (0.87), and stand age (0.85) were the best-described attributes by two-variable models. Cross validation showed that these models had a high predictive power, and most estimated vegetation attributes were highly accurate. The success of this simple method (a single image was used and the models were linear and included very few variables) rests on the principle that image texture reflects the internal heterogeneity of successional vegetation at the proper scale. The vegetation attributes best predicted by texture are relevant in the face of two of the gravest threats to biosphere integrity: climate change and biodiversity loss. By providing reliable basal area and fallow-age estimates, image-texture analysis allows for the assessment of carbon sequestration and diversity loss rates. New and exciting research avenues open by simplifying the analysis of the extent and complexity of successional vegetation through the spatial variation of its spectral information.
    Environmental changes during secondary succession in a tropical dry forest in Mexico
    Lebrija Trejos, E.E. ; Pérez-Garcia, E.A. ; Meave, J. ; Poorter, L. ; Bongers, F. - \ 2011
    Journal of Tropical Ecology 27 (2011)05. - ISSN 0266-4674 - p. 477 - 489.
    vapor-pressure deficit - rain-forest - plant-communities - deciduous forest - tree seedlings - gas-exchange - costa-rica - microclimate - canopy - light
    Vegetation and environment change mutually during secondary succession, yet the idiosyncrasies of the vegetation effect on the understorey environment are poorly understood. To test whether the successional understorey environment changes predictably and is shaped by the structure and seasonality of tropical dry forests, we estimated basal area and vegetation cover, and measured understorey temperature, light and moisture conditions, in 17 plots forming a 60-y chronosequence and a mature forest. Light and air and soil temperature decreased with time (75-15% of open-sky radiation, 31.7-29.3 °C, and +2.5 °C to -0.5 °C relative to ambient, respectively), whereas relative humidity increased (67-74%). Soil water availability increased with early-successional development (-45 to -1 kPa) but decreased afterwards (to -18 kPa). The first axis of a PCA of the rainy-season environment explained 60% of the variation and was strongly related to air temperature and relative humidity. During tropical dry-forest succession, such factors may be more important than light, the reduction in which is not extreme compared with taller and more vertically stratified wet forests. Seasonality significantly affected the successional environmental gradients, which were marked mainly during the wet season. Environmental heterogeneity was higher in the wet than in the dry season, and larger for resources (light and water) than for conditions (temperature and humidity). The wet-season increase in environmental heterogeneity potentially creates differential growing scenarios; the environmental harshness of the dry season would mostly challenge seedling survival.
    Pathways, mechanisms and predictability of vegetation change during tropical dry forest succession
    Lebrija Trejos, E.E. ; Meave, J. ; Poorter, L. ; Pérez- García, E.A. ; Bongers, F. - \ 2010
    Perspectives in plant ecology, evolution and systematics 12 (2010)4. - ISSN 1433-8319 - p. 267 - 275.
    intermediate disturbance hypothesis - rain-forests - secondary forests - species composition - plant-communities - central amazonia - dynamics - competition - diversity - chronosequence
    The development of forest succession theory has been based on studies in temperate and tropical wet forests. As rates and pathways of succession vary with the environment, advances in successional theory and study approaches are challenged by controversies derived from such variation and by the scarcity of studies in other ecosystems. During five years, we studied development pathways and dynamics in a chronosequence spanning from very early to late successional stages (ca. 1–60 years) in a tropical dry forest of Mexico. We (1) contrasted dynamic pathways of change in structure, diversity, and species composition with static, chronosequence-based trends, (2) examined how structure and successional dynamics of guilds of trees shape community change, and (3) assessed the predictability of succession in this system. Forest diversity and structure increased with time but tree density stabilized early in succession. Dynamic pathways matched chronosequence trends. Succession consisted of two tree-dominated phases characterized by the development and dynamics of a pioneer and a mature forest species guild, respectively. Pioneer species dominated early recruitment (until ca. 10 years after abandonment), and declined before slower growing mature-forest species became dominant or reached maximum development rates (after 40–45 years). Pioneers promoted their replacement early in succession, while mature-forest species recruited and grew constantly throughout the process, with their lowest mortality coinciding with the peak of pioneer abundance. In contrast to prevailing stochastic views, we observed an orderly, community driven series of changes in this dry forest secondary succession. Chronosequences thus represent a valuable approach for revealing system-specific successional pathways, formulating hypotheses on causes and mechanisms and, in combination with repeated sampling, evaluating the effects of vegetation dynamics in pathway variation.
    Vegetation Heterogeneity and Life-Strategy Diversity in the Flora of the Heterogeneous Landscape of Niznada, Oaxaca, Mexico
    Pérez-Garcia, E.A. ; Meave, J. ; Villaseñor, J.L. ; Gallardo-Cruz, J.A. ; Lebrija Trejos, E.E. - \ 2010
    Folia Geobotanica 45 (2010)2. - ISSN 1211-9520 - p. 143 - 161.
    plant diversity - southern mexico - forest - forms - gradient - physiognomy - tehuantepec - savannas - montane
    We updated the floristic checklist of the Nizanda region, Isthmus of Tehuantepec (southern Mexico), characterized the occurring plant communities based on dominant species, and described the region’s flora according to life form, growth form, growth type, and growth habit spectra. Ten years of botanical exploration, along with surveys in 188 100-m2 samples from different vegetation types, provided the baseline floristic information. Ordination and classification analyses were performed to examine the degree of differentiation between communities. Geographical ranges of all species were used to assess biogeographical relationships of this flora. The inventory includes 920 species (553 genera, 124 families). More than one-third of the families were represented by a single species, whereas the 10 richest families had 43% of the species richness. Dendrograms showing plot classification at three taxonomic levels (species, genus and family) revealed savannah as the most strongly differentiated community amid seven vegetation types. Regarding growth forms, forbs and trees prevailed. Phanerophytes were the most common life form category, whereas herbs and woody plants were the dominant growth types. The largest richness for all taxonomic levels was recorded in the tropical dry forest. The expanded floristic knowledge gained for the Nizanda region provided better criteria to revise the classification scheme of its vegetation. Our preliminary biogeographical analysis illustrates the role of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as a corridor for thermophilous floras between two oceanic watersheds, and as a natural distributional limit for several Mesoamerican plant species
    Functional traits and environmental filtering drive community assembly in a species-rich tropical system
    Lebrija Trejos, E.E. ; Perez-Garcia, A.E. ; Meave, J. ; Bongers, F. ; Poorter, L. - \ 2010
    Ecology 91 (2010)2. - ISSN 0012-9658 - p. 386 - 398.
    dry forest trees - plant-communities - rain-forest - recruitment limitation - shifting agriculture - regeneration niche - seedling mortality - neotropical forest - light-interception - amazonian forest
    Mechanistic models of community assembly state that biotic and abiotic filters constrain species establishment through selection on their functional traits. Predicting this assembly process is hampered because few studies directly incorporate environmental measurements and scale up from species to community level and because the functional traits' significance is environment dependent. We analyzed community assembly by measuring structure, environmental conditions, and species traits of secondary forests in a species-rich tropical system. We found, as hypothesized, that community structure shaped the local environment and that strong relationships existed between this environment and the traits of the most successful species of the regeneration communities. Path and multivariate analyses showed that temperature and leaf traits that regulate it were the most important factors of community differentiation. Comparisons between the trait composition of the forest's regeneration, juvenile, and adult communities showed a consistent community assembly pattern. These results allowed us to identify the major functional traits and environmental factors involved in the assembly of dry-forest communities and demonstrate that environmental filtering is a predictable and fundamental process of community assembly, even in a complex system such as a tropical forest
    Tropical dry forest recovery : processes and causes of change
    Lebrija Trejos, E.E. - \ 2009
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Frans Bongers; J.A. Meave del Castillo, co-promotor(en): Lourens Poorter; A.E. Perez-Garcia. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085853220 - 189
    tropische bossen - terugwinning - plantensuccessie - dendrochronologie - bosecologie - mexico - tropical forests - recovery - plant succession - dendrochronology - forest ecology - mexico
    Seasonally dry areas are one of the preferred zones for human inhabitance in the tropics. Large forest areas are converted to other land uses and many are covered by secondary forests that grow naturally after cessation of disturbance. Surprisingly, secondary succession in these strongly seasonal and drought-stressed areas has been largely neglected.
    This study combines the classical chronosequence approach complemented with dendrochronological techniques and the direct study of successional changes over time. This allowed to determine distinct pathways of vegetation change and to elicit what makes a specific group of species to be present, dominate, and disappear from a certain space and moment throughout succession.
    Coupled changes in forest composition, structure, and environmental conditions notably determined community assembly and patterns of species replacement. Temperature and species functional traits are revealed as key factors of successional change. These results significantly contribute to develop an appropriate theory for successional mechanisms in tropical dry forest.

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