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Plos One : Β-diversity of Functional Groups of Woody Plants in a Tropical Dry Forest in Yucatan, Volume 8

By Chave, Jerome

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Book Id: WPLBN0003969680
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos One : Β-diversity of Functional Groups of Woody Plants in a Tropical Dry Forest in Yucatan, Volume 8  
Author: Chave, Jerome
Volume: Volume 8
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Medical Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos


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Chave, J. (n.d.). Plos One : Β-diversity of Functional Groups of Woody Plants in a Tropical Dry Forest in Yucatan, Volume 8. Retrieved from

Description : Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (b-diversity). Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering), whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of b-diversity. In this study, we first explored how a- and b-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning), and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation) vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on b-diversity of functional groups: we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots: 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that b-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position), whilst lianas did not. bdiversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced a-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on b-diversity –possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both aand b-diversity patterns and correlates that are not apparent when focusing on overall woody plant diversity, and that have important implications for ecological theory and biodiversity conservation.


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