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The high alpha-diversity of tropical forests has been amply documented, but beta-diversity-how species composition changes with distance-has seldom been studied. We present quantitative estimates of beta-diversity for tropical trees by comparing species composition of plots in lowland terra firme forest in Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. We compare observations(More)
To represent species turnover in tropical rain forest, we use a neutral model where a tree's fate is not affected by what species it belongs to, seeds disperse a limited distance from their parents, and speciation is in equilibrium with random extinction. We calculate the similarity function, the probability F(r) that two trees separated by a distance r(More)
To resolve a panselectionist paradox, the population geneticist Kimura invented a neutral theory, where each gene is equally likely to enter the next generation whatever its allelic type. To learn what could be explained without invoking Darwinian adaptive divergence, Hubbell devised a similar neutral theory for forest ecology, assuming each tree is equally(More)
About 3 million years ago (Ma), the Isthmus of Panama joined the Americas, forming a land bridge over which inhabitants of each America invaded the other-the Great American Biotic Interchange. These invasions transformed land ecosystems in South and Middle America. Humans invading from Asia over 12000 years ago killed most mammals over 44 kg, again(More)
  • E G Leigh
  • 1983
In a system of N populations of n reproductive individuals apiece, in which each population has constant variance v(2) and lasts L generations, group selection on a quantitative character has a reasonable chance of overriding selection within populations if (and only if) the populations never exchange migrants, each population is founded by colonists from a(More)
We use Hubbell's neutral theory to predict the impact of habitat fragmentation on Amazonian tree communities. For forest fragments isolated for about two decades, we generate neutral predictions for local species extinction, changes in species composition within fragments, and increases in the probability that any two trees within a fragment are(More)
Like altruism, mutualism, cooperation between species, evolves only by enhancing all participants' inclusive fitness. Mutualism evolves most readily between members of different kingdoms, which pool complementary abilities for mutual benefit: some of these mutualisms represent major evolutionary innovations. Mutualism cannot persist if cheating annihilates(More)