Latitudinal patterns in stabilizing density dependence of forest communities

Hülsmann, Lisa; Chisholm, Ryan A.; Comita, Liza; Visser, Marco D.; de Souza Leite, Melina; Aguilar, Salomon; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J.; Bourg, Norman A.; Brockelman, Warren Y.; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Castaño, Nicolas; Chang-Yang, Chia-Hao; Chuyong, George B.; Clay, Keith; Davies, Stuart J.; Duque, Alvaro; Ediriweera, Sisira; Ewango, Corneille; Gilbert, Gregory S.; Holík, Jan; Howe, Robert W.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Itoh, Akira; Johnson, Daniel J.; Kenfack, David; Král, Kamil; Larson, Andrew J.; Lutz, James A.; Makana, Jean-Remy; Malhi, Yadvinder; McMahon, Sean M.; McShea, William J.; Mohamad, Mohizah; Nasardin, Musalmah; Nathalang, Anuttara; Norden, Natalia; Oliveira, Alexandre A.; Parmigiani, Renan; Perez, Rolando; Phillips, Richard P.; Pongpattananurak, Nantachai; Sun, I-Fang; Swanson, Mark E.; Tan, Sylvester; Thomas, Duncan; Thompson, Jill ORCID:; Uriarte, Maria; Wolf, Amy T.; Yao, Tze Leong; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Zuleta, Daniel; Hartig, Florian. 2024 Latitudinal patterns in stabilizing density dependence of forest communities. Nature, 627. 564-571.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N537021JA.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (6MB) | Preview


Numerous studies have shown reduced performance in plants that are surrounded by neighbours of the same species1,2, a phenomenon known as conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD)3. A long-held ecological hypothesis posits that CNDD is more pronounced in tropical than in temperate forests4,5, which increases community stabilization, species coexistence and the diversity of local tree species6,7. Previous analyses supporting such a latitudinal gradient in CNDD8,9 have suffered from methodological limitations related to the use of static data10,11,12. Here we present a comprehensive assessment of latitudinal CNDD patterns using dynamic mortality data to estimate species-site-specific CNDD across 23 sites. Averaged across species, we found that stabilizing CNDD was present at all except one site, but that average stabilizing CNDD was not stronger toward the tropics. However, in tropical tree communities, rare and intermediate abundant species experienced stronger stabilizing CNDD than did common species. This pattern was absent in temperate forests, which suggests that CNDD influences species abundances more strongly in tropical forests than it does in temperate ones13. We also found that interspecific variation in CNDD, which might attenuate its stabilizing effect on species diversity14,15, was high but not significantly different across latitudes. Although the consequences of these patterns for latitudinal diversity gradients are difficult to evaluate, we speculate that a more effective regulation of population abundances could translate into greater stabilization of tropical tree communities and thus contribute to the high local diversity of tropical forests.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0028-0836
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: biodiversity, community ecology, forest ecology, macroecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Data and Information
Related URLs:
Date made live: 05 Mar 2024 11:49 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...