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Title: Patterns of nitrogen-fixing tree abundance in forests across Asia and America
Authors: Menge, Duncan N.L.
Chisholm, Ryan A.
Davies, Stuart James
Salim, Kamariah Abu
Allen, David N.
Alvarez, Mauricio
Bourg, Norman A.
Brockelman, Warren Y.
Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh
Butt, Nathalie
Cao, Min
Chanthorn, Wirong
Chao, Weichun
Clay, Keith
Condit, Richard S.
Cordell, Susan
Silva, João Batista da
Dattaraja, Handanakere Shavaramaiah
Andrade, Ana Cristina Segalin de
Oliveira, Alexandre Adalardo de
den Ouden, Jan H.B.
Drescher, Michael
Fletcher, Christine Dawn
Giardina, Christian P.
Savitri Gunatilleke, C. V.
Gunatilleke, I. A.U.Nimal
Hau, Billy Chi Hang
He, Fangliang
Howe, Robert W.
Hsieh, Changfu
Hubbell, Stephen P.
Inman-Narahari, Faith M.
Jansen, Patrick A.
Johnson, Daniel J.
Kong, Lee Sing
Král, Kamil
Ku, Chen Chia
Lai, Jiangshan
Larson, Andrew J.
Li, Xiankun
Li, Yide
Lin, Luxiang
Lin, Yiching
Liu, Shirong
Lum, Shawn Kaihekulani Yamauchi
Lutz, James A.
Ma, Keping
Malhi, Yadvinder Singh
McMahon, Sean M.
McShea, William J.
Mi, Xiangcheng
Morecroft, Michael D.
Myers, Jonathan A.
Nathalang, Anuttara
Novotný, Vojt?ch
Ong, Perry Sim
Orwig, David A.
Ostertag, Rebecca
Parker, Geoffrey G.
Phillips, Richard P.
Abd-Rahman, Kassim
Sack, Lawren
Sang, Weiguo
Shen, G.
Shringi, Ankur
Shue, Jessica
Su, Sheng Hsin
Sukumar, Raman
Sun, I. Fang
Suresh, Hebbalalu Sathyanarayana
Tan, Sylvester Kheng San
Thomas, Sean C.
Toko, Pagi S.
Valencia, Renato L.
Vallejo, Martha Isabel
Vicentini, Alberto
Vrška, Tomáš
Wang, Bingbing
Wang, Xihua
Weiblen, George D.
Wolf, Amy T.
Xu, Han
Yap, Sandra L.
Zhu, Li
Fung, Tak
Keywords: Abundance
Basal Area
Nitrogen Fixation
Nutrient Limitation
Nutrient Loss
Relative Abundance
Tropical Forest
Central America
North America
South America
Issue Date: 2019
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Journal of Ecology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 107, Número 6, Pags. 2598-2610
Abstract: Symbiotic nitrogen (N)-fixing trees can provide large quantities of new N to ecosystems, but only if they are sufficiently abundant. The overall abundance and latitudinal abundance distributions of N-fixing trees are well characterised in the Americas, but less well outside the Americas. Here, we characterised the abundance of N-fixing trees in a network of forest plots spanning five continents, ~5,000 tree species and ~4 million trees. The majority of the plots (86%) were in America or Asia. In addition, we examined whether the observed pattern of abundance of N-fixing trees was correlated with mean annual temperature and precipitation. Outside the tropics, N-fixing trees were consistently rare in the forest plots we examined. Within the tropics, N-fixing trees were abundant in American but not Asian forest plots (~7% versus ~1% of basal area and stems). This disparity was not explained by mean annual temperature or precipitation. Our finding of low N-fixing tree abundance in the Asian tropics casts some doubt on recent high estimates of N fixation rates in this region, which do not account for disparities in N-fixing tree abundance between the Asian and American tropics. Synthesis. Inputs of nitrogen to forests depend on symbiotic nitrogen fixation, which is constrained by the abundance of N-fixing trees. By analysing a large dataset of ~4 million trees, we found that N-fixing trees were consistently rare in the Asian tropics as well as across higher latitudes in Asia, America and Europe. The rarity of N-fixing trees in the Asian tropics compared with the American tropics might stem from lower intrinsic N limitation in Asian tropical forests, although direct support for any mechanism is lacking. The paucity of N-fixing trees throughout Asian forests suggests that N inputs to the Asian tropics might be lower than previously thought. © 2019 The Authors. Journal of Ecology © 2019 British Ecological Society
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.13199
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