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The world's greatest terrestrial stores of biodiversity and carbon are found in the forests of northern South America, where large-scale biogeographic patterns and processes have recently begun to be described. Seven of the nine countries with territory in the Amazon basin and the Guiana shield have carried out large-scale forest inventories, but such(More)
The vast extent of the Amazon Basin has historically restricted the study of its tree communities to the local and regional scales. Here, we provide empirical data on the commonness, rarity, and richness of lowland tree species across the entire Amazon Basin and Guiana Shield (Amazonia), collected in 1170 tree plots in all major forest types. Extrapolations(More)
The "intermediate disturbance hypothesis," which postulates maximum diversity at intermediate regimes of disturbance, has never been clearly proved to apply to species-rich tropical forest tree communities and to local-scale canopy disturbances that modify light environments. This hypothesis was tested on a sample of 17,000 trees in a Guianan forest, 10(More)
Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened under(More)
The interspecific variability of sunlit leaf carbon isotope composition (δ13C), an indicator of leaf intrinsic water-use efficiency (WUE, CO2 assimilation rate/leaf conductance for water vapour), was investigated in canopy trees of three lowland rainforest stands in French Guiana, differing in floristic composition and in soil drainage characteristics, but(More)
While studying ecological patterns at large scales, ecologists are often unable to identify all collections, forcing them to either omit these unidentified records entirely, without knowing the effect of this, or pursue very costly and time-consuming efforts for identifying them. These "indets" may be of critical importance, but as yet, their impact on the(More)
Characterizing the trophic relationships between large herbivores and the outstanding plant diversity in rainforest is a major challenge because of their elusiveness. This is crucial to understand the role of these herbivores in the functioning of the rainforest ecosystems. We tested a non-invasive approach based on the high-throughput sequencing of(More)
We assessed the extent of recent environmental changes on leaf morphological (stomatal density, stomatal surface, leaf mass per unit area) and physiological traits (carbon isotope composition, δ(13)C(leaf) , and discrimination, Δ(13)C(leaf) , oxygen isotope composition, δ(18)O(leaf) ) of two tropical rainforest species (Dicorynia guianensis; Humiria(More)
Detecting broad scale spatial patterns across the South American rainforest biome is still a major challenge. Although several countries do possess their own, more or less detailed land-cover map, these are based on classifications that appear largely discordant from a country to another. Up to now, continental scale remote sensing studies failed to fill(More)
While the populations of large herbivores are being depleted in many tropical rainforests, the importance of their trophic role in the ecological functioning and biodiversity of these ecosystems is still not well evaluated. This is due to the outstanding plant diversity that they feed upon and the inherent difficulties involved in observing their elusive(More)