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REGIONAL AND PHYLOGENETIC VARIATION OF WOOD DENSITY ACROSS 2456 NEOTROPICAL TREE SPECIES

REGIONAL AND PHYLOGENETIC VARIATION OF WOOD DENSITY ACROSS 2456 NEOTROPICAL TREE SPECIES Wood density is a crucial variable in carbon accounting programs of both secondary and old‐growth tropical forests. It also is the best single descriptor of wood: it correlates with numerous morphological, mechanical, physiological, and ecological properties. To explore the extent to which wood density could be estimated for rare or poorly censused taxa, and possible sources of variation in this trait, we analyzed regional, taxonomic, and phylogenetic variation in wood density among 2456 tree species from Central and South America. Wood density varied over more than one order of magnitude across species, with an overall mean of 0.645 g/cm3. Our geographical analysis showed significant decreases in wood density with increasing altitude and significant differences among low‐altitude geographical regions: wet forests of Central America and western Amazonia have significantly lower mean wood density than dry forests of Central and South America, eastern and central Amazonian forests, and the Atlantic forests of Brazil; and eastern Amazonian forests have lower wood densities than the dry forests and the Atlantic forest. A nested analysis of variance showed that 74% of the species‐level wood density variation was explained at the genus level, 34% at the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) family level, and 19% at the APG order level. This indicates that genus‐level means give reliable approximations of values of species, except in a few hypervariable genera. We also studied which evolutionary shifts in wood density occurred in the phylogeny of seed plants using a composite phylogenetic tree. Major changes were observed at deep nodes (Eurosid 1), and also in more recent divergences (for instance in the Rhamnoids, Simaroubaceae, and Anacardiaceae). Our unprecedented wood density data set yields consistent guidelines for estimating wood densities when species‐level information is lacking and should significantly reduce error in Central and South American carbon accounting programs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecological Applications Wiley

REGIONAL AND PHYLOGENETIC VARIATION OF WOOD DENSITY ACROSS 2456 NEOTROPICAL TREE SPECIES

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References (66)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© Society for Community Research and Action
ISSN
1051-0761
eISSN
1939-5582
DOI
10.1890/1051-0761(2006)016[2356:RAPVOW]2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Wood density is a crucial variable in carbon accounting programs of both secondary and old‐growth tropical forests. It also is the best single descriptor of wood: it correlates with numerous morphological, mechanical, physiological, and ecological properties. To explore the extent to which wood density could be estimated for rare or poorly censused taxa, and possible sources of variation in this trait, we analyzed regional, taxonomic, and phylogenetic variation in wood density among 2456 tree species from Central and South America. Wood density varied over more than one order of magnitude across species, with an overall mean of 0.645 g/cm3. Our geographical analysis showed significant decreases in wood density with increasing altitude and significant differences among low‐altitude geographical regions: wet forests of Central America and western Amazonia have significantly lower mean wood density than dry forests of Central and South America, eastern and central Amazonian forests, and the Atlantic forests of Brazil; and eastern Amazonian forests have lower wood densities than the dry forests and the Atlantic forest. A nested analysis of variance showed that 74% of the species‐level wood density variation was explained at the genus level, 34% at the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) family level, and 19% at the APG order level. This indicates that genus‐level means give reliable approximations of values of species, except in a few hypervariable genera. We also studied which evolutionary shifts in wood density occurred in the phylogeny of seed plants using a composite phylogenetic tree. Major changes were observed at deep nodes (Eurosid 1), and also in more recent divergences (for instance in the Rhamnoids, Simaroubaceae, and Anacardiaceae). Our unprecedented wood density data set yields consistent guidelines for estimating wood densities when species‐level information is lacking and should significantly reduce error in Central and South American carbon accounting programs.

Journal

Ecological ApplicationsWiley

Published: Dec 1, 2006

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