Helene C. Muller-Landau

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Spatial processes are crucial for determining the structure and dynamics of populations and communities1. Among sessile organisms, for which seeds, eggs or larvae represent the predominant mobile stages, dispersal is the premier spatial demographic process. The seed-dispersion pattern (Box 1) not only determines the potential area of plant recruitment, but(More)
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)
Wood density is a crucial variable in carbon accounting programs of both secondary and old-growth tropical forests. It also is the best single descriptor of wood: it correlates with numerous morphological, mechanical, physiological, and ecological properties. To explore the extent to which wood density could be estimated for rare or poorly censused taxa,(More)
Abstract: Mechanisms proposed to explain the maintenance of species diversity within ecological communities of sessile organisms include niche differentiation mediated by competitive trade-offs, frequency dependence resulting from species-specific pests, recruitment limitation due to local dispersal, and a speciation-extinction dynamic equilibrium mediated(More)
The factors determining species commonness and rarity are poorly understood, particularly in highly diverse communities. Theory predicts that interactions with neighbors of the same (conspecific) and other (heterospecific) species can influence a species' relative abundance, but empirical tests are lacking. By using a hierarchical model of survival for more(More)
A central goal of comparative plant ecology is to understand how functional traits vary among species and to what extent this variation has adaptive value. Here we evaluate relationships between four functional traits (seed volume, specific leaf area, wood density, and adult stature) and two demographic attributes (diameter growth and tree mortality) for(More)
Terrestrial carbon stock mapping is important for the successful implementation of climate change mitigation policies. Its accuracy depends on the availability of reliable allometric models to infer oven-dry aboveground biomass of trees from census data. The degree of uncertainty associated with previously published pantropical aboveground biomass(More)
Patterns of size inequality in crowded plant populations are often taken to be indicative of the degree of size asymmetry of competition, but recent research suggests that some of the patterns attributed to size-asymmetric competition could be due to spatial structure. To investigate the theoretical relationships between plant density, spatial pattern, and(More)
In closed-canopy forests, plant morphology and physiology determine shade tolerance and potential growth and mortality rates; potential vital rates and ongoing gap dependence determine realized vital rates; and realized vital rates determine individual size distributions. This hypothesis was evaluated for the 73 most abundant canopy tree species from Barro(More)
The theory of metabolic ecology predicts specific relationships among tree stem diameter, biomass, height, growth and mortality. As demographic rates are important to estimates of carbon fluxes in forests, this theory might offer important insights into the global carbon budget, and deserves careful assessment. We assembled data from 10 old-growth tropical(More)