Reproducing static and dynamic biodiversity patterns in tropical forests: The critical role of environmental variance

Tak Fung, James Patrick O'Dwyer, Kassim A.B.D. Rahman, Christine D. Fletcher, Ryan A. Chisholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ecological communities are subjected to stochasticity in the form of demographic and environmental variance. Stochastic models that contain only demographic variance (neutral models) provide close quantitative fits to observed species-abundance distributions (SADs) but substantially underestimate observed temporal species-abundance fluctuations. To provide a holistic assessment of whether models with demographic and environmental variance perform better than neutral models, the fit of both to SADs and temporal species-abundance fluctuations at the same time has to be tested quantitatively. In this study, we quantitatively test how closely a model with demographic and environmental variance reproduces total numbers of species, total abundances, SADs and temporal species-abundance fluctuations for two tropical forest tree communities, using decadal data from long-term monitoring plots and considering individuals larger than two size thresholds for each community. We find that the model can indeed closely reproduce these static and dynamic patterns of biodiversity in the two communities for the two size thresholds, with better overall fits than corresponding neutral models. Therefore, our results provide evidence that stochastic models incorporating demographic and environmental variance can simultaneously capture important static and dynamic biodiversity patterns arising in tropical forest communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1217
Number of pages11
JournalEcology
Volume97
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Fingerprint

tropical forests
tropical forest
biodiversity
demographic statistics
biogeography
forest communities
stochasticity
forest trees
monitoring
distribution

Keywords

  • Demographic variance
  • Dynamic model
  • Environmental variance
  • Neutral theory
  • Speciesabundance distributions
  • Tropical forests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Reproducing static and dynamic biodiversity patterns in tropical forests : The critical role of environmental variance. / Fung, Tak; O'Dwyer, James Patrick; Rahman, Kassim A.B.D.; Fletcher, Christine D.; Chisholm, Ryan A.

In: Ecology, Vol. 97, No. 5, 01.05.2016, p. 1207-1217.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fung, Tak ; O'Dwyer, James Patrick ; Rahman, Kassim A.B.D. ; Fletcher, Christine D. ; Chisholm, Ryan A. / Reproducing static and dynamic biodiversity patterns in tropical forests : The critical role of environmental variance. In: Ecology. 2016 ; Vol. 97, No. 5. pp. 1207-1217.
@article{b8e7d77013f14a07a5ec9e213d9c77a8,
title = "Reproducing static and dynamic biodiversity patterns in tropical forests: The critical role of environmental variance",
abstract = "Ecological communities are subjected to stochasticity in the form of demographic and environmental variance. Stochastic models that contain only demographic variance (neutral models) provide close quantitative fits to observed species-abundance distributions (SADs) but substantially underestimate observed temporal species-abundance fluctuations. To provide a holistic assessment of whether models with demographic and environmental variance perform better than neutral models, the fit of both to SADs and temporal species-abundance fluctuations at the same time has to be tested quantitatively. In this study, we quantitatively test how closely a model with demographic and environmental variance reproduces total numbers of species, total abundances, SADs and temporal species-abundance fluctuations for two tropical forest tree communities, using decadal data from long-term monitoring plots and considering individuals larger than two size thresholds for each community. We find that the model can indeed closely reproduce these static and dynamic patterns of biodiversity in the two communities for the two size thresholds, with better overall fits than corresponding neutral models. Therefore, our results provide evidence that stochastic models incorporating demographic and environmental variance can simultaneously capture important static and dynamic biodiversity patterns arising in tropical forest communities.",
keywords = "Demographic variance, Dynamic model, Environmental variance, Neutral theory, Speciesabundance distributions, Tropical forests",
author = "Tak Fung and O'Dwyer, {James Patrick} and Rahman, {Kassim A.B.D.} and Fletcher, {Christine D.} and Chisholm, {Ryan A.}",
year = "2016",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1890/15-0984.1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "97",
pages = "1207--1217",
journal = "Ecology",
issn = "0012-9658",
publisher = "Ecological Society of America",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reproducing static and dynamic biodiversity patterns in tropical forests

T2 - The critical role of environmental variance

AU - Fung, Tak

AU - O'Dwyer, James Patrick

AU - Rahman, Kassim A.B.D.

AU - Fletcher, Christine D.

AU - Chisholm, Ryan A.

PY - 2016/5/1

Y1 - 2016/5/1

N2 - Ecological communities are subjected to stochasticity in the form of demographic and environmental variance. Stochastic models that contain only demographic variance (neutral models) provide close quantitative fits to observed species-abundance distributions (SADs) but substantially underestimate observed temporal species-abundance fluctuations. To provide a holistic assessment of whether models with demographic and environmental variance perform better than neutral models, the fit of both to SADs and temporal species-abundance fluctuations at the same time has to be tested quantitatively. In this study, we quantitatively test how closely a model with demographic and environmental variance reproduces total numbers of species, total abundances, SADs and temporal species-abundance fluctuations for two tropical forest tree communities, using decadal data from long-term monitoring plots and considering individuals larger than two size thresholds for each community. We find that the model can indeed closely reproduce these static and dynamic patterns of biodiversity in the two communities for the two size thresholds, with better overall fits than corresponding neutral models. Therefore, our results provide evidence that stochastic models incorporating demographic and environmental variance can simultaneously capture important static and dynamic biodiversity patterns arising in tropical forest communities.

AB - Ecological communities are subjected to stochasticity in the form of demographic and environmental variance. Stochastic models that contain only demographic variance (neutral models) provide close quantitative fits to observed species-abundance distributions (SADs) but substantially underestimate observed temporal species-abundance fluctuations. To provide a holistic assessment of whether models with demographic and environmental variance perform better than neutral models, the fit of both to SADs and temporal species-abundance fluctuations at the same time has to be tested quantitatively. In this study, we quantitatively test how closely a model with demographic and environmental variance reproduces total numbers of species, total abundances, SADs and temporal species-abundance fluctuations for two tropical forest tree communities, using decadal data from long-term monitoring plots and considering individuals larger than two size thresholds for each community. We find that the model can indeed closely reproduce these static and dynamic patterns of biodiversity in the two communities for the two size thresholds, with better overall fits than corresponding neutral models. Therefore, our results provide evidence that stochastic models incorporating demographic and environmental variance can simultaneously capture important static and dynamic biodiversity patterns arising in tropical forest communities.

KW - Demographic variance

KW - Dynamic model

KW - Environmental variance

KW - Neutral theory

KW - Speciesabundance distributions

KW - Tropical forests

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047290443&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85047290443&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1890/15-0984.1

DO - 10.1890/15-0984.1

M3 - Article

C2 - 27349097

AN - SCOPUS:85047290443

VL - 97

SP - 1207

EP - 1217

JO - Ecology

JF - Ecology

SN - 0012-9658

IS - 5

ER -