Tropical forests can maintain hyperdiversity because of enemies

Levi, Taal, Barfield, Michael, Barrantes, Shane, Sullivan, Christopher, Holt, Robert D., and Terborgh, John (2019) Tropical forests can maintain hyperdiversity because of enemies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116 (2). pp. 581-586.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1813211116
7


Abstract

Explaining the maintenance of tropical forest diversity under the countervailing forces of drift and competition poses a major challenge to ecological theory. Janzen-Connell effects, in which host-specific natural enemies restrict the recruitment of juveniles near conspecific adults, provide a potential mechanism. Janzen-Connell is strongly supported empirically, but existing theory does not address the stable coexistence of hundreds of species. Here we use high-performance computing and analytical models to demonstrate that tropical forest diversity can be maintained nearly indefinitely in a prolonged state of transient dynamics due to distance-responsive natural enemies. Further, we show that Janzen-Connell effects lead to community regulation of diversity by imposing a diversity-dependent cost to commonness and benefit to rarity. The resulting species-area and rank-abundance relationships are consistent with empirical results. Diversity maintenance over long time spans does not require dispersal from an external metacommunity, speciation, or resource niche partitioning, only a small zone around conspecific adults in which saplings fail to recruit. We conclude that the Janzen-Connell mechanism can explain the maintenance of tropical tree diversity while not precluding the operation of other niche-based mechanisms such as resource partitioning.

Item ID: 56946
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: niche theory, neutral theory, ecological drift, Janzen-Connell, biodiversity
Copyright Information: Copyright 2019 National Academy of Sciences
Funders: Oregon State University, Andrew Mellon Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), University of Florida Foundation, US Department of Agricluture (USDA)
Projects and Grants: NSF Grant DEB0742830, USDA Grant 2017-67013-26870
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2019 07:36
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 100%
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page