Relaxation of species-specific neighborhood effects in Bornean rain forest under climatic perturbation

Newbery, D. M. and Stoll, P.. (2013) Relaxation of species-specific neighborhood effects in Bornean rain forest under climatic perturbation. Ecology, Vol. 94, Nr. 12. pp. 2838-2851.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6223316

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Evidence of negative conspecific density dependence (NDD) operating on seedling survival and sapling recruitment has accumulated recently. In contrast, evidence of NDD operating on growth of trees has been circumstantial at best. Whether or not local NDD at the level of individual trees leads to NDD at the level of the community is still an open question. Moreover, whether and how perturbations interfere with these processes have rarely been investigated. We applied neighborhood models to permanent plot data from a Bornean dipterocarp forest censused over two 10-11 year periods. Although the first period was only lightly perturbed, a moderately strong El Nino event causing severe drought occurred in the first half of the second period. Such events are an important component of the environmental stochasticity affecting the region. We show that local NDD on growth of small-to-medium-sized trees may indeed translate to NDD at the level of the community. This interpretation is based on increasingly negative effects of bigger conspecific neighbors on absolute growth rates of individual trees with increasing basal area across the 18 most abundant overstory species in the first period. However, this relationship was much weaker in the second period. We interpreted this relaxation of local and community-level NDD as a consequence of increased light levels at the forest floor due to temporary leaf and twig loss of large trees in response to the drought event. Mitigation of NDD under climatic perturbation acts to decrease species richness, especially in forest overstory and therefore has an important role in determining species relative abundances at the site.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Stoll, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:27 Mar 2014 13:12
Deposited On:27 Mar 2014 13:12

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