Phylogenetic structure of a palm community in the central Amazon: changes along a hydro-edaphic gradient
- 469 Downloads
The concepts of phylogenetic community structure (PCS) and phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) allow ecologists to address the role of species’ evolutionary history in community assembly. It is important to test the role of historical legacies relative to environmental constraints at local scales, where communities are assembled. We studied phylogenetic structure and niche conservatism for palms (Arecaceae) in the 64-km2 Ducke Reserve in the central Amazon, near Manaus. The 72 study plots, each covering 0.1 ha, were distributed regularly in a terra firme forest along a hydro-edaphic gradient. We compared the observed palm PCS with assemblages generated by null models. We also analyzed whether morphological and ecological traits are labile or conserved along the phylogeny and quantified the spatial structure of morphological traits in each plot. We found an overall neutral PCS in combination with low PNC (labile traits), suggesting that evolutionary history poses little constraint on palm community assembly in this Amazonian landscape. Still, there was a tendency towards phylogenetic overdispersion in bottomlands, suggesting competitive exclusion among close relatives or, more likely, environmental filtering acting on convergent traits that affect co-occurrence in flood-prone areas. We conclude that (1) PCS of local communities is random as a whole and morphological traits are overall labile, but that (2) the hydro-edaphic gradient within terra firme forests leads to differences in species co-occurrence so that closely related species occur less often than expected in bottomlands due to diffuse competition among close relatives or environmental filtering on convergent traits.
KeywordsCommunity phylogenetic structure Competition Environmental filtering Limiting similarity Niche Null models
We thank the Programa de Pesquisas em Biodiversidade (PPBio) and INPA for logistic support, the CNPq (575637/2008-0; 473474/2008-5) for financial support, and CAPES/PDEE for a doctoral scholarship to CGF. We also thank Jean Louis Guillaumet for the palm database. HB’s and JCS’s work on palms is supported by grants from the Danish Natural Science Research Council (10-083348; 10-083348; 12-125079) and from the European Commission (Contract No. 212631).
- Dransfield J, Uhl NW, Asmussen CB, Baker WJ, Harley MM, Lewis CE (2008) Genera Palmarum. Kew Publishing, KewGoogle Scholar
- Eiserhardt WL, Pintaud JC, Asmussen-Lange C, Hahn WJ, Bernal R, Balslev H, Borchsenius F (2011a) Phylogeny and divergence times of Bactridinae (Arecaceae, Palmae) based on plastid and nuclear DNA sequences. Taxon 60(2):485–498Google Scholar
- Fortin MJ, Dale MRT, Hoef JV (2002) Spatial analysis in ecology. In: El-Shaarawi AH, Piegorsch WW (eds) Encyclopedia of environmetrics, vol 4. Wiley, Chichester, pp 2051–2058Google Scholar
- Henderson A (1995) The palms of the Amazon. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Holm S (1979) A simple sequentially rejective multiple test procedure. Scand J Stat 6:65–70Google Scholar
- Hubbell SP (2001) The unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
- Kahn F, Granville JJ (1992) Palms in forest ecosystems of Amazonia. Ecological studies, vol 95. Springer, Berlin, pp 1–223Google Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2012) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical computing, Vienna. ISBN 3-900051-07-0. http://www.R-project.org/
- Ribeiro JELS, Hopkins MJG, Vicentini A, Sothers CA, Costa MAS, Brito JM, Souza MAD, Martins LHP, Lohmann LG, Assunção PACL, Pereira EC, Silva CF, Mesquita MR, Procópio LC (1999) Flora da Reserva Ducke: Guia de identificação das plantas vasculares de uma floresta de terra-firme na Amazônia central. Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, ManausGoogle Scholar
- Schietti J, Emilio T, Rennó CD, Drucker DP, Costa FRC, Nogueira A, Baccaro FB, Figueiredo F, Castilho CV, Kinupp V, Guillaumet JL, Garcia ARM, Lima A, Magnusson WE (2014) Vertical distance from drainage drives floristic composition changes in an Amazonian rainforest. Plant Ecol Div 7:1–13Google Scholar