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Title: Seasonal drought limits tree species across the Neotropics
Authors: Esquivel-Muelbert, Adriane
Baker, Timothy R.
Dexter, Kyle Graham
Lewis, Simon L.
ter Steege, H.
Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela
Monteagudo-Mendoza, Abel
Brienen, Roel J.W.
Feldpausch, Ted R.
Pitman, Nigel C.A.
Alonso, Alfonso
Van Der Heijden, Geertje M.F.
Pena-Claros, Marielos
Ahuite, Manuel
Alexiades, Miguel N.
Alvarez, Esteban
Murakami, Alejandro Araujo
Arroyo, Luzmila P.
Aulestia, Milton
Balslev, Henrik
Barroso, Jorcely
Boot, René G.A.
Cano, Ángela
Moscoso, Victor Chama
Comiskey, James A.
Cornejo, Fernando H.
Dallmeier, Francisco
Daly, Douglas Charles
Dávila, Nállarett
Duivenvoorden, Joost F.
Duque M, Alvaro J.
Erwin, Terry L.
Di Fiore, Anthony
Fredericksen, Todd S.
Fuentes, A.
García-Villacorta, Roosevelt
Gonzales, Therany
Guevara, Juan Ernesto
Honorio Coronado, Euridice N.
Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Isau
Killeen, Timothy J.
Malhi, Yadvinder Singh
Mendoza, Casimiro
Mogollón, Hugo F.
JØrgensen, Peter Møller
Montero, Juan Carlos
Mostacedo, Bonifacio
Nauray, William
Neill, David A.
Vargas, Percy Núñez
Palacios, Sonia
Cuenca, Walter Palacios
Pallqui Camacho, Nadir Carolina
Peacock, Julie
Phillips, Juan Fernando
Pickavance, Georgia C.
Quesada, Carlos Alberto
Ramírez-Angulo, Hirma
Restrepo, Zorayda
Rodríguez, Carlos Reynel
Paredes, Marcos Ríos
Sierra, Rodrigo
Silveira, Marcos
Stevenson, Pablo R.
Stropp, Juliana
Terborgh, John W.
Tirado, Milton
Toledo, Marisol
Torres-Lezama, Armando
Umaña, María Natalia
Urrego, Ligia Estela
Vásquez-Martínez, Rodolfo
Gamarra, Luis Valenzuela
Vela, César I.A.
Torre, Emilio Vilanova
Vos, Vincent A.
von Hildebrand, Patricio
Vriesendorp, Corine F.
Wang, Ophelia
Young, Kenneth R.
Zartman, Charles Eugene
Phillips, Oliver L.
Keywords: Data Set
Forest Canopy
Neotropical Region
Plant Community
Population Distribution
Seasonal Variation
Species Diversity
Species Richness
Tropical Forest
Water Stress
Issue Date: 2017
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Ecography
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 40, Número 5, Pags. 618-629
Abstract: Within the tropics, the species richness of tree communities is strongly and positively associated with precipitation. Previous research has suggested that this macroecological pattern is driven by the negative effect of water-stress on the physiological processes of most tree species. This implies that the range limits of taxa are defined by their ability to occur under dry conditions, and thus in terms of species distributions predicts a nested pattern of taxa distribution from wet to dry areas. However, this ‘dry-tolerance’ hypothesis has yet to be adequately tested at large spatial and taxonomic scales. Here, using a dataset of 531 inventory plots of closed canopy forest distributed across the western Neotropics we investigated how precipitation, evaluated both as mean annual precipitation and as the maximum climatological water deficit, influences the distribution of tropical tree species, genera and families. We find that the distributions of tree taxa are indeed nested along precipitation gradients in the western Neotropics. Taxa tolerant to seasonal drought are disproportionally widespread across the precipitation gradient, with most reaching even the wettest climates sampled; however, most taxa analysed are restricted to wet areas. Our results suggest that the ‘dry tolerance' hypothesis has broad applicability in the world's most species-rich forests. In addition, the large number of species restricted to wetter conditions strongly indicates that an increased frequency of drought could severely threaten biodiversity in this region. Overall, this study establishes a baseline for exploring how tropical forest tree composition may change in response to current and future environmental changes in this region. © 2016 The Authors
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1111/ecog.01904
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