The effects of dispersal limitation and topographic heterogeneity on beta diversity and phylobetadiversity in a subtropical forest
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We assessed the effects of topographic heterogeneity and stem density on species composition between grains of different sizes (20 × 20, 50 × 50, and 100 × 100 m), based on partial Mantel tests. Similarity in species composition was measured by the abundance-based Jaccard index (C_J) and by an index that incorporates phylogenetic information into C_J (pC_J). Plants were divided into five groups, arbor, subarbor, and shrub according to life form and two other groups: species that produce dry fruits (PDF) and that produce fleshy fruits (PFF). C_J and pC_J between any two grains at each grain size were calculated separately for these groups and for all species combined. In order to examine what influences C_J and pC_J, we analyzed their correlations with topographic heterogeneity variables and two dispersal limitation-related variables (stem and topographic resistance). Our data indicate that at all three grain sizes, C_J and pC_J decrease with increasing distance for all plant groups. Dispersal limitation and topographic heterogeneity were both important at 20 × 20 and 50 × 50 m grain sizes for C_J and pC_J of all plant groups; and at 100 × 100 m grain size, topographic heterogeneity dominates over dispersal limitation for some plant groups. C_J and pC_J of PDFs are less negatively correlated with stem resistance than those of PFFs. We conclude that both beta diversity and phylobetadiversity are dependent on plant groups and grain sizes.