Negative density dependence and environmental heterogeneity effects on tree ferns across succession in a tropical montane forest.

Chacón-Labella, Julia and Cruz Rot, Marcelino de la and Vicuña, Rafael and Tapia, Karla and Escudero, Adrián (2014). Negative density dependence and environmental heterogeneity effects on tree ferns across succession in a tropical montane forest.. "Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution And Systematics", v. 16 (n. 2); pp. 52-63. ISSN 1433-8319. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2014.02.003.

Description

Title: Negative density dependence and environmental heterogeneity effects on tree ferns across succession in a tropical montane forest.
Author/s:
  • Chacón-Labella, Julia
  • Cruz Rot, Marcelino de la
  • Vicuña, Rafael
  • Tapia, Karla
  • Escudero, Adrián
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution And Systematics
Date: 20 April 2014
ISSN: 1433-8319
Volume: 16
Subjects:
Faculty: E.U.I.T. Agrícolas (UPM)
Department: Biotecnología - Biología Vegetal
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

Although tree ferns are an important component of temperate and tropical forests, very little is known about their ecology. Their peculiar biology (e.g., dispersal by spores and two-phase life cycle) makes it difficult to extrapolate current knowledge on the ecology of other tree species to tree ferns. In this paper, we studied the effects of negative density dependence (NDD) and environmental heterogeneity on populations of two abundant tree fern species, Cyathea caracasana and Alsophila engelii, and how these effects change across a successional gradient. Species patterns harbor information on processes such as competition that can be easily revealed using point pattern analysis techniques. However, its detection may be difficult due to the confounded effects of habitat heterogeneity. Here, we mapped three forest plots along a successional gradient in the montane forests of Southern Ecuador. We employed homogeneous and inhomogeneous K and pair correlation functions to quantify the change in the spatial pattern of different size classes and a case-control design to study associations between juvenile and adult tree ferns. Using spatial estimates of the biomass of four functional tree types (short- and long-lived pioneer, shade- and partial shade-tolerant) as covariates, we fitted heterogeneous Poisson models to the point pattern of juvenile and adult tree ferns and explored the existence of habitat dependencies on these patterns. Our study revealed NDD effects for C. caracasana and strong environmental filtering underlying the pattern of A. engelii. We found that adult and juvenile populations of both species responded differently to habitat heterogeneity and in most cases this heterogeneity was associated with the spatial distribution of biomass of the four functional tree types. These findings show the effectiveness of factoring out environmental heterogeneity to avoid confounding factors when studying NDD and demonstrate the usefulness of covariate maps derived from mapped communities.

Funding Projects

TypeCodeAcronymLeaderTitle
Government of SpainCGL2009-13190-C03-02UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified

More information

Item ID: 37392
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/37392/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:37392
DOI: 10.1016/j.ppees.2014.02.003
Official URL: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/perspectives-in-plant-ecology-evolution-and-systematics
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 17 Sep 2015 11:46
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 10:43
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