Matthew D. Potts

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The relationship between species diversity and sampled area is fundamental to ecology. Traditionally, theories of the species-area relationship have been dominated by random-placement models. Such models were used to formulate the canonical theory of species-area curves and species abundances. In this paper, however, armed with a detailed data set from a(More)
Recent analyses of the fossil record and molecular phylogenies suggest that there are fundamental limits to biodiversity, possibly arising from constraints in the availability of space, resources, or ecological niches. Under this hypothesis, speciation rates decay over time and biodiversity eventually saturates, with new species emerging only when others(More)
Understanding the maintenance of high tropical tree species diversity requires disentangling the effects of habitat vs. geographic distance. Using floristic, topographic, and soil nutrient data from 105 0.6-ha plots in mixed dipterocarp forest throughout Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, we explore the degree to which floristic patterns are habitat-driven from(More)
With the recent resurgence of vector-borne diseases due to urbanization and development there is an urgent need to understand the dynamics of vector-borne diseases in rapidly changing urban environments. For example, many empirical studies have produced the disturbing finding that diseases continue to persist in modern city centers with zero or low rates of(More)
A fundamental question in ecology is how many species occur within a given area. Despite the complexity and diversity of different ecosystems, there exists a surprisingly simple, approximate answer: the number of species is proportional to the size of the area raised to some exponent. The exponent often turns out to be roughly 1/4. This power law can be(More)
Tropical forest ecosystems are threatened by habitat conversion and other anthropogenic actions. Timber production forests can augment the conservation value of primary forest reserves, but studies of logging effects often yield contradictory findings and thus inhibit efforts to develop clear conservation strategies. We hypothesized that much of this(More)
Coexisting plants that share pollinators can compete through interspecific pollen transfer. A long-standing idea holds that divergence in floral morphology may reduce this competition by placing pollen on different regions of the pollinator's bodies. However, surprisingly little empirical support for this idea exists. Burmeistera is a diverse neotropical(More)
The field use of brodifacoum baits (Talon® and Pestoff®) to control brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) has increased in recent years. This has raised concerns of secondary and tertiary poisoning, resulting from the transfer of this toxicant through the food chain. In New Zealand, feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are known to scavenge possum carcasses and may(More)
Tree architecture, growth, and mortality change with increasing tree size and associated light conditions. To date, few studies have quantified how size-dependent changes in growth and mortality rates co-vary with architectural traits, and how such size-dependent changes differ across species and possible light capture strategies. We applied a hierarchical(More)
Specialization in pollination systems played a central role in angiosperm diversification, yet the evolution of specialization remains poorly understood. Competition through interspecific pollen transfer may select for specialization through costs to male fitness (pollen lost to heterospecific flowers) or female fitness (heterospecific pollen deposited on(More)