, Volume 210, Issue 1, pp 67-84
Date: 06 Mar 2010

Patterns of tree species richness in Jalisco, Mexico: relation to topography, climate and forest structure

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The objective of this study was to identify the major environmental variables and components of forest structure associated with variability in tree species richness on a network of 806 permanent plots in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Tree data recorded on the sample plots were used to characterize tree species richness by forest type and climatic conditions (temperature and precipitation) in the State. Species composition and other diversity indices were also calculated. Explanatory variables identified in a Poisson regression identified forest cover type, elevation, tree basal area, canopy closure, and winter precipitation as being important to changes in tree species richness. An “extreme quantile curve estimation” approach was then used to approximate the boundary that represented the maximum potential species richness response to the various levels of important variables. Maximum tree species richness decreased with increasing elevation. The relationships between maximum species richness and tree basal area, canopy closure, and winter precipitation followed a hump-back unimodal model, with intermediate values supporting the largest species richness. We believe that results of the current study will contribute to further development of a conservation plan for tree species in the State of Jalisco, Mexico.