Commonness and rarity determinants of woody plants in different types of tropical forests
- 527 Downloads
The aim of this work is to examine whether there exists a link between local and landscape patterns of species commonness, and if these are related to morphological traits in tropical plant communities. The Madidi region (Bolivian tropical Andes) is selected as study location. We estimated local and landscape commonness, rarity classes, height, diameter, number of stems, and habit for >2,300 species. We employed correlations to evaluate the relationship between local scale commonness and landscape scale commonness. We performed ANCOVA and multinomial logistic regressions to predict commonness and rarity variables from the morphological traits. We repeated the analyses for six different forest types, including dry forests and wet forests along a 3,477 m elevation gradient. We found a positive relationship between local and landscape commonness in all forest types. Additionally, we found that, plant height influences the local and landscape commonness, and that the apportioning of species into rarity classes depends greatly on the species habit and, at lesser degree, on the number of stems. Our main conclusions are: (1) Approaches to commonness and rarity based on abundance only or occurrence only could summarize most of the relevant information to characterize commonness and rarity patterns: both approaches, in practice, do not supply independent information. (2) The species traits determine which species are rare and which ones are common, which indicates that commonness and rarity patterns are the result of non-neutral trait-based community assembly processes.
KeywordsLandscape commonness Local commonness Oligarchy Plant traits Rabinowitz’s classification
We are very grateful to P. M. Jørgensen, coordinator of the Madidi Project, and to L. E. Cayola, A. F. Fuentes, A. Araújo-Murakami, M. Cornejo, V. W. Torrez, J. M. Quisbert, T. B. Miranda, R. Seidel, N. Y. Paniagua, and C. Maldonado, who provided very valuable plot data for the present study. We also appreciate the indispensable help of many students and volunteers who collaborated in the field and herbarium. We thank the Dirección General de Biodiversidad, the ServicioNacional de ÁreasProtegidas, Madidi National Park, and local communities for permits, access, and collaboration during the fieldwork. An anonymous reviewer provided useful comments to the manuscript. We received financial support from the following institutions: Consejería de Educación (Comunidad de Madrid), National Geographic Society (8047-06, 7754-04), US National Science Foundation (DEB#0101775, DEB#0743457), and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid—Banco Santander, for which we are grateful.
- Connell JH (1971) On the role of natural enemies in preventing competitive exclusion in some marine animals and in rain forest trees. In: Boer P, Gradwell G (eds) Dynamics of populations. Centre for Agricultural Publications and Documentation, WageningenGoogle Scholar
- Fuentes A (2005) Una introducción a la vegetación de la región de Madidi. Ecología en Bolivia 40:1–31Google Scholar
- Gentry AH (1991) The distribution and evolution of climbing plants. In: Putz FE, Mooney HA (eds) The biology of vines. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Navarro G, Ferreira W, Antezana C et al (2004) Bio-corredor Amboró Madidi, zonificación ecológica. Editorial FAN, Santa CruzGoogle Scholar
- Rabinowitz D (1981) Seven forms of rarity. In: Synge H (ed) The biological aspects of rare plant conservation. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Rabinowitz D, Cairns S, Dillon T (1986) Seven forms of rarity and their frequency in the flora of the British Isles. In: Soulé ME (ed) Conservation biology: the science of scarcity and diversity. Sinauer Associates Inc, SunderlandGoogle Scholar
- Romero-Saltos H, Valencia R, Macia MJ (2001) Patrones de diversidad, distribucion y rareza de plantas leñosas en tres tipos de bosque en la Amazonia nororiental ecuatoriana. Evaluación de recursos forestales no maderables en la Amazonía noroccidental. IBED-Universiteit van Amsterdam, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- ter Steege H, Pitman NCA, Sabatier D et al (2013) Hyperdominance in the Amazonian tree flora. Science 342. doi: 10.1126/science.124309