David Anthony Coomes

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The carbon flux from woody debris, a crucial uncertainty within global carbon-climate models, is simultaneously affected by climate, site environment and species-based variation in wood quality. In the first global analysis attempting to explicitly tease out the wood quality contribution to decomposition, we found support for our hypothesis that, under a(More)
Woody stems comprise a large biological carbon fraction and determine water transport between roots and leaves; their structure and function can influence both carbon and hydrological cycles. While angiosperm wood anatomy and density determine hydraulic conductivity and mechanical strength, little is known about interrelations across many species. We(More)
Species distribution models (SDMs) trained on presence-only data are frequently used in ecological research and conservation planning. However, users of SDM software are faced with a variety of options, and it is not always obvious how selecting one option over another will affect model performance. Working with MaxEnt software and with tree fern presence(More)
Boreal forest soils play an important role in the global carbon cycle by functioning as a large terrestrial carbon sink or source, and the alteration of fire regime through global change phenomena may influence this role. We studied a system of forested lake islands in the boreal zone of Sweden for which fire frequency increases with increasing island size.(More)
1. Wood density is considered a key functional trait influencing the growth and survival of woody plants and has been shown to be related to a slow-fast rate-of-living continuum. Wood density is, however, an emergent trait arising from several vascular properties of wood, including the diameter and frequency of xylem conduits. 2. We aimed to test the(More)
The Metabolic Ecology Model predicts that tree diameter (D) growth (dD/dt) scales with D(1/3). Using data on diameter growth and height-diameter relationships for 56 and 40 woody species, respectively, from forests throughout New Zealand, we tested one prediction and two assumptions of this model: (i) the exponent of the growth-diameter scaling relationship(More)
The metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) predicts the effects of body size and temperature on metabolism through considerations of vascular distribution networks and biochemical kinetics. MTE has also been extended to characterise processes from cellular to global levels. MTE has generated both enthusiasm and controversy across a broad range of research areas.(More)
A recent metabolic scaling theory predicts that plants minimize resistance to hydraulic conduction in the bulk transport network by narrowing the diameter of xylem conduits distally. We hypothesized that trees growing at high altitude or on nutrient-depleted soils would prioritize survival over minimizing hydraulic resistance, and that their vascular(More)
Tree mortality is a key process underlying forest dynamics and community assembly. Understanding how tree mortality is driven by simultaneous drivers is needed to evaluate potential effects of climate change on forest composition. Using repeat-measure information from c. 400,000 trees from the Spanish Forest Inventory, we quantified the relative importance(More)
Tall and short Amazonian caatinga at La Esmeralda (rainfall 2600 mm yr−1) are described and compared with those at San Carlos de Río Negro (3600 mm yr-1). The tall forests have much in common: thin-boled trees, many with scleromorphic mesophylls, lack of thick-stemmed climbers and of herbs, species paucity in all life-forms, domination by Eperua, and a high(More)