Phylogenetic community structure during succession: evidence from three Neotropical forest sites

Letcher, Susan G., Chazdon, Robin L., Andrade, Ana C.S., Bongers, Frans, van Breugel, Michiel, Finegan, Bryan, Laurance, Susan, Mesquita, Rita C.G., Martinez-Ramos, Miguel, and Williamson, G.Bruce (2012) Phylogenetic community structure during succession: evidence from three Neotropical forest sites. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 14 (2). pp. 79-87.

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The phylogenetic structure of communities can reveal forces shaping community assembly, but the vast majority of work on phylogenetic community structure has been conducted in mature ecosystems. Here, we present an analysis of the phylogenetic structure of three Neotropical rain forest communities undergoing succession. In each site, the net relatedness of the community is initially high and consistently declines during succession. This pattern is evident both when comparing plots of different age classes and when comparing stem size classes within each plot: the oldest plots and the youngest stem cohorts, representing the most advanced stages of succession, have the lowest relatedness. Our results suggest that succession leaves a distinct signature in the phylogenetic structure of communities, which may reflect an increasing role of biotic interactions in community assembly during succession. We discuss theoretical explanations for the decline in community phylogenetic relatedness during succession, and suggest directions for future study.

Item ID: 20149
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1433-8319
Keywords: angiosperm phylogeny, chronosequence, community assembly, phylogenetic community structure, tropical forest
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2012 23:03
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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