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The Contribution of Rare Species to Community Phylogenetic Diversity across a Global Network of Forest Plots

Mi, Xiangcheng and Swenson, Nathan G and Valencia, Renato and Kress, W John and Erickson, David L and Perez, Alvaro J and Ren, Haibao and Su, Sheng-Hsin and Gunatilleke, Nimal and Gunatilleke, Savi and Hao, Zhanqing and Ye, Wanhui and Cao, Min and Suresh, H S and Dattaraja, H S and Sukumar, R and Ma, Keping (2012) The Contribution of Rare Species to Community Phylogenetic Diversity across a Global Network of Forest Plots. In: AMERICAN NATURALIST, 180 (1). E17-E30.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/665999

Abstract

Niche differentiation has been proposed as an explanation for rarity in species assemblages. To test this hypothesis requires quantifying the ecological similarity of species. This similarity can potentially be estimated by using phylogenetic relatedness. In this study, we predicted that if niche differentiation does explain the co-occurrence of rare and common species, then rare species should contribute greatly to the overall community phylogenetic diversity (PD), abundance will have phylogenetic signal, and common and rare species will be phylogenetically dissimilar. We tested these predictions by developing a novel method that integrates species rank abundance distributions with phylogenetic trees and trend analyses, to examine the relative contribution of individual species to the overall community PD. We then supplement this approach with analyses of phylogenetic signal in abundances and measures of phylogenetic similarity within and between rare and common species groups. We applied this analytical approach to 15 long-term temperate and tropical forest dynamics plots from around the world. We show that the niche differentiation hypothesis is supported in six of the nine gap-dominated forests but is rejected in the six disturbance-dominated and three gap-dominated forests. We also show that the three metrics utilized in this study each provide unique but corroborating information regarding the phylogenetic distribution of rarity in communities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to The University of Chicago
Keywords: rare species;community phylogenetic diversity;species abundance distribution;phylogenetic relatedness;niche differentiation;community assembly
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2012 08:11
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2012 08:14
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/44789

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