Susan G. Letcher

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The phylogenetic structure of ecological communities can shed light on assembly processes, but the focus of phylogenetic structure research thus far has been on mature ecosystems. Here, I present the first investigation of phylogenetic community structure during succession. In a replicated chronosequence of 30 sites in northeastern Costa Rica, I found(More)
Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species' threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic(More)
Land-use change occurs nowhere more rapidly than in the tropics, where the imbalance between deforestation and forest regrowth has large consequences for the global carbon cycle. However, considerable uncertainty remains about the rate of biomass recovery in secondary forests, and how these rates are influenced by climate, landscape, and prior land use.(More)
1. Successional gradients are ubiquitous in nature, yet few studies have systematically examined the evolutionary origins of taxa that specialize at different successional stages. Here we quantify succes-sional habitat specialization in Neotropical forest trees and evaluate its evolutionary lability along a precipitation gradient. Theoretically,(More)
Exploring the associations between vegetation and abiotic environments might increase our understanding of biodiversity formation mechanisms. Here, we explore variation in plant composition/diversity and their abiotic determinants across six vegetation types in a biodiversity hotspot of Hainan Island, China. We established twelve 1-ha permanent plots, two(More)
Distinguishing the relative effects of above- and belowground competition can improve our understanding of the forces shaping community assembly in different ecosystems. In this study, we investigated the impacts of above- and belowground competition on seedling growth and allometry in a tropical monsoon forest (TMF) on Hainan Island, China. Four common(More)
Regrowth of tropical secondary forests following complete or nearly complete removal of forest vegetation actively stores carbon in aboveground biomass, partially counterbalancing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, burning of fossil fuels, and other anthropogenic sources. We estimate the age and spatial extent of lowland second-growth(More)
5 Regrowth of tropical secondary forests following complete or nearly complete removal of forest vegetation actively stores carbon in aboveground biomass, partially counterbalancing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation , burning of fossil fuels, and other anthropogenic sources. We estimate the age and spatial extent of lowland(More)
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