Different trends in phylogenetic and functional structure of plant communities along an elevation gradient
The study of diversity gradients due to elevation dates back to the foundation of biogeography and ecology. Although elevation-driven patterns of plant diversity have been reported for centuries, uncertainty still exists about the assembly rules that drive these patterns. In this study, we revealed the causal factor of community assemblies for the diversity of tree and herb species along an elevation. To this end, we applied an integrated method using both functional traits and phylogeny, called the mean pairwise functional-phylogenetic distance, to understand the assembly rules for woody and herbaceous species communities along an elevation gradient. At higher elevation sites, woody and herbaceous communities were comprised of species having similar traits. The phylogenetic trends for woody species were consistent with the functional trends; closely related species co-occurred more frequently than expected at higher elevations. Phylogenetic trends for herb species were opposite to the functional trends; species with similar traits but having a random phylogenetic distribution co-occurred at higher elevations. We suggest that the community assembly rules for woody and herb species vary with elevation; and functional constraints due to environmental filtering at higher elevation act as assembly rules along gradients in both woody and herbaceous communities, even though their phylogenetic backgrounds differ.
KeywordsFunctional diversity Phylogenetic diversity Plant community Assembly rule Elevation gradient
This study could not have been completed without the particularly demanding fieldwork, and we are grateful to all who assisted with this work. We are particularly thankful to Takayuki Shiono, ToeToeAung, Ryo Maeshiro, Shenhua Qian, Takayuki Ohgue, and Keita Nishizawa. We thank Shinichi Tatsumi for instructive advice and field work. This research was supported by grants from the Sumitomo Foundation, the Japan Securities Scholarship Foundation, and Kajima Foundation. Logistical support for fieldwork was provided by the Shiretoko Foundation.
KR Originally formulated the idea, developed original idea, conducted fieldwork, performed statistical analyses, and wrote the manuscript. KD Developed original idea, conducted fieldwork and wrote the manuscript. MAS Originally formulated the idea, developed original idea, conducted fieldwork, and wrote the manuscript.
- Baraloto C, Hardy OJ, Paine CET, Dexter KG, Cruaud C, Dunning LT, Gonzalez MA, Molino JF, Sabatier D, Savolainen V, Chave J (2012) Using functional traits and phylogenetic trees to examine the assembly of tropical tree communities. J Ecol 100:690–701. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2012.01966.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Côté SD, Rooney TP, Tremblay JP, Dussault C, Waller DM (2004) Ecological impacts of deer overabundance. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:113–147. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.35.021103.105725 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dreiss KM, Burgio KR, Cisneros LM, Klingbeil BT, Patterson BD, Presley SJ, Willig MR (2015) Taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic dimensions of rodent biodiversity along an extensive tropical elevational gradient. Ecography (Cop) 38:876–888. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.00971 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Heikkala O, Seibold S, Koivula M, Martikainen P, Müller J, Thorn S, Kouki J (2016) Retention forestry and prescribed burning result in functionally different saproxylic beetle assemblages than clear-cutting. For Ecol Manag 359:51–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2015.09.043 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- HilleRisLambers J, Adler PB, Harpole WS, Levine JM, Mayfield MM (2012) Rethinking community assembly through the lens of coexistence theory. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 43:227–248. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110411-160411 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Horsley SB, Stout SL, DeCalesta DS (2003) White-tailed deer impact on the vegetation dynamics of a northern hardwood forest. Ecol Appl 13:98–118. https://doi.org/10.1890/1051-0761(2003)013[0098:wtdiot]2.0.co;2Google Scholar
- Kaji K, Okada H, Yamanaka M, Matsuda H, Yabe T (2004) Irruption of a colonizing sika deer population. J Wildl Manag 68:889–899. https://doi.org/10.2193/0022-541x(2004)068[0889:ioacsd]2.0.co;2Google Scholar
- Mouquet N, Devictor V, Meynard CN, Munoz F, Bersier LF, Chave J, Couteron P, Dalecky A, Fontaine C, Gravel D, Hardy OJ, Jabot F, Lavergne S, Leibold M, Mouillot D, Münkemüller T, Pavoine S, Prinzing A, Rodrigues AS, Rohr RP, Thébault E, Thuiller W (2012) Ecophylogenetics: advances and perspectives. Biol Rev 87:769–785. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-185X.2012.00224.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Pérez-Harguindeguy N, Díaz S, Lavorel S, Poorter H, Jaureguiberry P, Bret-Harte MS, Cornwell WK, Craine JM, Gurvich DE, Urcelay C, Veneklaas EJ, Reich PB, Poorter L, Wright IJ, Ray P, Enrico L, Pausas JG, de Vos AC, Buchmann N, Funes G, Quétier F, Hodgson JG, Thompson K, Morgan HD, ter Steege H, van der Heijden MGA, Sack L, Blonder B, Poschlod P, Vaieretti MV, Conti G, Staver AC, Aquino S, Cornelissen JHC (2013) New handbook for standardized measurment of plant functional traits worldwide. Aust J Bot 23:167–234. https://doi.org/10.1071/BT12225 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rasband WS (1997–2009) I mageJ. US. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/
- Rosenblum EB, Parent CE, Brandt EE (2014) The molecular basis of phenotypic convergence. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 45:203–226. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-120213-091851 CrossRefGoogle Scholar