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Fully mapped tree census plots of large area, 25 to 52 hectares, have now been completed at six different sites in tropical forests, including dry deciduous to wet evergreen forest on two continents. One of the main goals of these plots has been to evaluate spatial patterns in tropical tree populations. Here the degree of aggregation in the distribution of(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)
Tropical forests vary substantially in the densities of trees of different sizes and thus in above-ground biomass and carbon stores. However, these tree size distributions show fundamental similarities suggestive of underlying general principles. The theory of metabolic ecology predicts that tree abundances will scale as the -2 power of diameter.(More)
We used point pattern analysis to examine the spatial distribution of 46 common tree species (diameter at breast height >10 cm) in a fully mapped 500x500-m tropical forest plot in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka. We aimed to disentangle the effect of species interactions (second-order effects) and environment (first-order effects) on the species' spatial(More)
In Amazonian tropical forests, recent studies have reported increases in aboveground biomass and in primary productivity, as well as shifts in plant species composition favouring fast-growing species over slow-growing ones. This pervasive alteration of mature tropical forests was attributed to global environmental change, such as an increase in atmospheric(More)
Both habitat filtering and dispersal limitation influence the compositional structure of forest communities, but previous studies examining the relative contributions of these processes with variation partitioning have primarily used topography to represent the influence of the environment. Here, we bring together data on both topography and soil resource(More)
Global change is impacting forests worldwide, threatening biodiversity and ecosystem services including climate regulation. Understanding how forests respond is critical to forest conservation and climate protection. This review describes an international network of 59 long-term forest dynamics research sites (CTFS-ForestGEO) useful for characterizing(More)
Clustering at multiple critical scales may be common for plants since many different factors and processes may cause clustering. This is especially true for tropical rain forests for which theories explaining species coexistence and community structure rest heavily on spatial patterns. We used point pattern analysis to analyze the spatial structure of(More)
The integration of ecology and evolutionary biology requires an understanding of the evolutionary lability in species’ ecological niches. For tropical trees, specialization for particular soil resource and topographic conditions is an important part of the habitat niche, influencing the distributions of individual species and overall tree community(More)
An ecological community's species diversity tends to erode through time as a result of stochastic extinction, competitive exclusion, and unstable host-enemy dynamics. This erosion of diversity can be prevented over the short term if recruits are highly diverse as a result of preferential recruitment of rare species or, alternatively, if rare species survive(More)