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Phylogenetic and functional alpha and beta diversity in temperate and tropical tree communities

Swenson, Nathan G.; Erickson, David L.; Mi, Xiangcheng; Bourg, Norman A.; Forero-Montaña, Jimena; Ge, Xuejun; Howe, Robert; Lake, Jeffrey K.; Liu, Xiaojuan; Ma, Keping; Pei, Nancai; Thompson, Jill; Wolf, Amy; Uriarte, Maria; Zhang, Jinlong; Wright, S. Joseph; Ye, Wanhui; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Kress, W. John

The study of biodiversity has tended to focus primarily on relatively information-poor measures of species diversity. Recently, many studies of local diversity (alpha diversity) have begun to use measures of functional and phylogenetic alpha diversity. Investigations into the phylogenetic and functional dissimilarity (beta diversity) of communities have been far less numerous, but these dissimilarity measures have the potential to infer the mechanisms underlying community assembly and dynamics. Here, we relate levels of phylogenetic and functional alpha diversity to levels of phylogenetic and functional beta diversity to infer the mechanism or mechanisms responsible for the assembly of tree communities in six forests located in tropical and temperate latitudes. The results show that abiotic filtering plays a role in structuring local assemblages and governing spatial turnover in community composition and that phylogenetic measures of alpha and beta diversity are not strong predictors of functional alpha and beta diversity in the forests studied.

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Academic Units
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
Publisher
Ecological Society of America
Published Here
November 9, 2014
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