Amazon tree dominance across forest strata

Frederick C. Draper, Flavia R.C. Costa, Gabriel Arellano, Oliver L. Phillips, Alvaro Duque, Manuel J. Macía, Hans ter Steege, Gregory P. Asner, Erika Berenguer, Juliana Schietti, Jacob B. Socolar, Fernanda Coelho de Souza, Kyle G. Dexter, Peter M. Jørgensen, J. Sebastian Tello, William E. Magnusson, Timothy R. Baker, Carolina V. Castilho, Abel Monteagudo-Mendoza, Paul V.A. FineKalle Ruokolainen, Euridice N.Honorio Coronado, Gerardo Aymard, Nállarett Dávila, Mauricio Sánchez Sáenz, Marcos A.Rios Paredes, Julien Engel, Claire Fortunel, C. E.Timothy Paine, Jean Yves Goret, Aurelie Dourdain, Pascal Petronelli, Elodie Allie, Juan E.Guevara Andino, Roel J.W. Brienen, Leslie Cayola Pérez, Ângelo G. Manzatto, Narel Y.Paniagua Zambrana, Jean François Molino, Daniel Sabatier, Jerôme Chave, Sophie Fauset, Roosevelt Garcia Villacorta, Maxime Réjou-Méchain, Paul E. Berry, Karina Melgaço, Ted R. Feldpausch, Elvis Valderamma Sandoval, Rodolfo Vasquez Martinez, Italo Mesones, André B. Junqueira, Katherine H. Roucoux, José J. de Toledo, Ana C. Andrade, José Luís Camargo, Jhon del Aguila Pasquel, Flávia D. Santana, William F. Laurance, Susan G. Laurance, Thomas E. Lovejoy, James A. Comiskey, David R. Galbraith, Michelle Kalamandeen, Gilberto E.Navarro Aguilar, Jim Vega Arenas, Carlos A.Amasifuen Guerra, Manuel Flores, Gerardo Flores Llampazo, Luis A.Torres Montenegro, Ricardo Zarate Gomez, Marcelo P. Pansonato, Victor Chama Moscoso, Jason Vleminckx, Oscar J.Valverde Barrantes, Joost F. Duivenvoorden, Sidney Araújo de Sousa, Luzmila Arroyo, Ricardo O. Perdiz, Jessica Soares Cravo, Beatriz S. Marimon, Ben Hur Marimon Junior, Fernanda Antunes Carvalho, Gabriel Damasco, Mathias Disney, Marcos Salgado Vital, Pablo R.Stevenson Diaz, Alberto Vicentini, Henrique Nascimento, Niro Higuchi, Tinde Van Andel, Yadvinder Malhi, Sabina Cerruto Ribeiro, John W. Terborgh, Raquel S. Thomas, Francisco Dallmeier, Adriana Prieto, Renato R. Hilário, Rafael P. Salomão, Richarlly da Costa Silva, Luisa F. Casas, Ima C.Guimarães Vieira, Alejandro Araujo-Murakami, Fredy Ramirez Arevalo, Hirma Ramírez-Angulo, Emilio Vilanova Torre, Maria C. Peñuela, Timothy J. Killeen, Guido Pardo, Eliana Jimenez-Rojas, Wenderson Castro, Darcy Galiano Cabrera, John Pipoly, Thaiane Rodrigues de Sousa, Marcos Silvera, Vincent Vos, David Neill, Percy Núñez Vargas, Dilys M. Vela, Luiz E.O.C. Aragão, Ricardo Keichi Umetsu, Rodrigo Sierra, Ophelia Wang, Kenneth R. Young, Nayane C.C.S. Prestes, Klécia G. Massi, José Reyna Huaymacari, Germaine A.Parada Gutierrez, Ana M. Aldana, Miguel N. Alexiades, Fabrício Baccaro, Carlos Céron, Adriane Esquivel Muelbert, Julio M.Grandez Rios, Antonio S. Lima, Jonathan L. Lloyd, Nigel C.A. Pitman, Luis Valenzuela Gamarra, Cesar J.Cordova Oroche, Alfredo F. Fuentes, Walter Palacios, Sandra Patiño, Armando Torres-Lezama, Christopher Baraloto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The forests of Amazonia are among the most biodiverse plant communities on Earth. Given the immediate threats posed by climate and land-use change, an improved understanding of how this extraordinary biodiversity is spatially organized is urgently required to develop effective conservation strategies. Most Amazonian tree species are extremely rare but a few are common across the region. Indeed, just 227 ‘hyperdominant’ species account for >50% of all individuals >10 cm diameter at 1.3 m in height. Yet, the degree to which the phenomenon of hyperdominance is sensitive to tree size, the extent to which the composition of dominant species changes with size class and how evolutionary history constrains tree hyperdominance, all remain unknown. Here, we use a large floristic dataset to show that, while hyperdominance is a universal phenomenon across forest strata, different species dominate the forest understory, midstory and canopy. We further find that, although species belonging to a range of phylogenetically dispersed lineages have become hyperdominant in small size classes, hyperdominants in large size classes are restricted to a few lineages. Our results demonstrate that it is essential to consider all forest strata to understand regional patterns of dominance and composition in Amazonia. More generally, through the lens of 654 hyperdominant species, we outline a tractable pathway for understanding the functioning of half of Amazonian forests across vertical strata and geographical locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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