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Position on slope, disturbance, and tree species coexistence in a Seasonal Semideciduous Forest in SE Brazil

Position on slope, disturbance, and tree species coexistence in a Seasonal Semideciduous Forest... We investigated the influence of position on a slope (plot relative elevation) and vegetation disturbance (the tallest tree height per plot) on community composition and diversity in a SE Brazilian Seasonal Semideciduous Forest (46°55′ W, 22°50′ S). Trees with dbh  ≥5 cm were sampled in one hundred 10  ×  10 m plots randomly placed in a 6.5-ha stand. Through partial Mantel test, floristic dissimilarities among plots (Jaccard index computed with species abundance in each plot) were correlated with environmental distances among plots (Euclidian distance index computed with relative elevation and the tallest tree height values in each plot). Relative elevation and the tallest tree per plot height were individually correlated with floristic gradients expressed by PCA axes scores using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Through resampling, we compared diversity (richness, Berger-Parker D and Shannon H′) among plots in the drier (up) and moister (low) ends of the slope. Floristic dissimilarities were significantly correlated with environmental distances even after geographic distances among plots have been partialled out (r m = 0.1274, p < 0.001). The first two PCA axes accounted for 22% of the total variance. After Bonferroni and Dutilleul’s corrections, axis 1 showed a marginally significant correlation with plot relative elevation (r = − 0.4097, p = 0.0309), and axis 2 was significantly correlated with the tallest tree height per plot (r = 0.2953, p = 0.0106). Position on the slope and vegetation disturbance were reliable predictors of community composition, thus suggesting the operation of niche assembly organizing processes. Richness and diversity (H′) decreased and dominance (D) increased with elevation on the slope. Dominance increase from D (300) = 0.11 (confidence interval = 0.091–0.131) to D (300) = 0.19 (CI = 0.165–0.210) surpassed the expected dominance increase based on the reduction of richness alone: D (300)  =  0.13 (CI = 0.110–0.140), thus highlighting the niche partitioning assembly of the community, especially among abundant species. Given the great amount of floristic variability remaining unexplained, stochastic processes, such as those related to dispersal limitation, may also have influence on the community composition. Therefore, both niche assembly and chance events can operate even on a fine local scale. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Plant Ecology Springer Journals

Position on slope, disturbance, and tree species coexistence in a Seasonal Semideciduous Forest in SE Brazil

Plant Ecology , Volume 190 (2) – Sep 6, 2006

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References (88)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Life Sciences; Plant Sciences
ISSN
1385-0237
eISSN
1573-5052
DOI
10.1007/s11258-006-9200-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We investigated the influence of position on a slope (plot relative elevation) and vegetation disturbance (the tallest tree height per plot) on community composition and diversity in a SE Brazilian Seasonal Semideciduous Forest (46°55′ W, 22°50′ S). Trees with dbh  ≥5 cm were sampled in one hundred 10  ×  10 m plots randomly placed in a 6.5-ha stand. Through partial Mantel test, floristic dissimilarities among plots (Jaccard index computed with species abundance in each plot) were correlated with environmental distances among plots (Euclidian distance index computed with relative elevation and the tallest tree height values in each plot). Relative elevation and the tallest tree per plot height were individually correlated with floristic gradients expressed by PCA axes scores using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Through resampling, we compared diversity (richness, Berger-Parker D and Shannon H′) among plots in the drier (up) and moister (low) ends of the slope. Floristic dissimilarities were significantly correlated with environmental distances even after geographic distances among plots have been partialled out (r m = 0.1274, p < 0.001). The first two PCA axes accounted for 22% of the total variance. After Bonferroni and Dutilleul’s corrections, axis 1 showed a marginally significant correlation with plot relative elevation (r = − 0.4097, p = 0.0309), and axis 2 was significantly correlated with the tallest tree height per plot (r = 0.2953, p = 0.0106). Position on the slope and vegetation disturbance were reliable predictors of community composition, thus suggesting the operation of niche assembly organizing processes. Richness and diversity (H′) decreased and dominance (D) increased with elevation on the slope. Dominance increase from D (300) = 0.11 (confidence interval = 0.091–0.131) to D (300) = 0.19 (CI = 0.165–0.210) surpassed the expected dominance increase based on the reduction of richness alone: D (300)  =  0.13 (CI = 0.110–0.140), thus highlighting the niche partitioning assembly of the community, especially among abundant species. Given the great amount of floristic variability remaining unexplained, stochastic processes, such as those related to dispersal limitation, may also have influence on the community composition. Therefore, both niche assembly and chance events can operate even on a fine local scale.

Journal

Plant EcologySpringer Journals

Published: Sep 6, 2006

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