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Plant community tropical forest

Merlin Sheldrake, Nicholas P Rosenstock, Scott Mangan, Daniel Revillini, Emma J Sayer, Pål Axel Olsson, Erik Verbruggen, Edmund V J Tanner, Benjamin L Turner, S Joseph Wright
Improved understanding of the nutritional ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi is important in understanding how tropical forests maintain high productivity on low-fertility soils. Relatively little is known about how AM fungi will respond to changes in nutrient inputs in tropical forests, which hampers our ability to assess how forest productivity will be influenced by anthropogenic change. Here we assessed the influence of long-term inorganic and organic nutrient additions and nutrient depletion on AM fungi, using two adjacent experiments in a lowland tropical forest in Panama...
June 13, 2018: ISME Journal
Daniel R Lammel, Gabriel Barth, Otso Ovaskainen, Leonardo M Cruz, Josileia A Zanatta, Masahiro Ryo, Emanuel M de Souza, Fábio O Pedrosa
BACKGROUND: pH is frequently reported as the main driver for prokaryotic community structure in soils. However, pH changes are also linked to "spillover effects" on other chemical parameters (e.g., availability of Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) and plant growth, but these indirect effects on the microbial communities are rarely investigated. Usually, pH also co-varies with some confounding factors, such as land use, soil management (e.g., tillage and chemical inputs), plant cover, and/or edapho-climatic conditions...
June 11, 2018: Microbiome
Sarasa Amma, Hirokazu Toju, Chongrak Wachrinrat, Hirotoshi Sato, Akifumi S Tanabe, Taksin Artchawakom, Mamoru Kanzaki
Although fungi play essential roles in nutrient cycles and plant growth in forest ecosystems, limited information is currently available on the community compositions of soil fungi in tropical forests. Few studies have examined fungal community structures in seasonal tropical forests, in which forest fires potentially have a large impact on above- and belowground community processes. Based on high-throughput sequencing technologies, we herein examined the diversity and community structures of soil fungi in dry seasonal tropical forests in Sakaerat, northeast Thailand...
May 30, 2018: Microbes and Environments
João Custódio Fernandes Cardoso, Radek Michalko, Marcelo Oliveira Gonzaga
The coexistence of phylogenetically related species is an attractive topic because of the potentially intense interspecific competition. The most often investigated mechanisms mediating coexistence of these species are environmental filtering and niche partitioning. However, the role of other factors, such as species-specific parasites, is still poorly understood. Along the riparian understory of a tropical forest, we explored niche occupation and coexistence between Chrysso intervales and Helvibis longicauda, two related syntopic web-building spiders...
May 22, 2018: Oecologia
Lourens Poorter, Carolina V Castilho, Juliana Schietti, Rafael S Oliveira, Flávia R C Costa
The functional trait approach has, as a central tenet, that plant traits are functional and shape individual performance, but this has rarely been tested in the field. Here, we tested the individual-based trait approach in a hyperdiverse Amazonian tropical rainforest and evaluated intraspecific variation in trait values, plant strategies at the individual level, and whether traits are functional and predict individual performance. We evaluated > 1300 tree saplings belonging to > 383 species, measured 25 traits related to growth and defense, and evaluated the effects of environmental conditions, plant size, and traits on stem growth...
July 2018: New Phytologist
Mónica M Solórzano Kraemer, Xavier Delclòs, Matthew E Clapham, Antonio Arillo, David Peris, Peter Jäger, Frauke Stebner, Enrique Peñalver
Amber is an organic multicompound derivative from the polymerization of resin of diverse higher plants. Compared with other modes of fossil preservation, amber records the anatomy of and ecological interactions between ancient soft-bodied organisms with exceptional fidelity. However, it is currently suggested that ambers do not accurately record the composition of arthropod forest paleocommunities, due to crucial taphonomic biases. We evaluated the effects of taphonomic processes on arthropod entrapment by resin from the plant Hymenaea , one of the most important resin-producing trees and a producer of tropical Cenozoic ambers and Anthropocene (or subfossil) resins...
May 7, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Jarrah Wills, John Herbohn, Jing Hu, Shawkat Sohel, Jack Baynes, Jennifer Firn
Can morphological plant functional traits predict demographic rates (e.g., growth) within plant communities as diverse as tropical forests? This is one of the most important next-step questions in trait-based ecology and particularly for global reforestation efforts. Due to the diversity of tropical tree species and their longevity, it is difficult to predict their performance prior to reforestation efforts. In this study, we investigate if simple leaf traits are predictors of the more complex ecological process of plant growth in regenerating selectively logged natural forest within the Wet Tropics (WTs) bioregion of Australia...
April 26, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Arthur P A Pereira, Maurício R G Zagatto, Carolina B Brandani, Denise de Lourdes Mescolotti, Simone R Cotta, José L M Gonçalves, Elke J B N Cardoso
Intercropping forest plantations of Eucalyptus with nitrogen-fixing trees can increase soil N inputs and stimulate soil organic matter (OM) cycling. However, microbial indicators and their correlation in specific fractions of soil OM are unclear in the tropical sandy soils. Here, we examined the microbial indicators associated with C and N in the soil resulting from pure and intercropped Eucalyptus grandis and Acacia mangium plantations. We hypothesized that introduction of A. mangium in a Eucalyptus plantation promotes changes in microbial indicators and increases C and N concentrations on labile fractions of the soil OM, when compared to pure eucalyptus plantations...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Cecilia E S Dalotto, Rafael B Sühs, Michele S Dechoum, Francisco I Pugnaire, Nivaldo Peroni, Tânia T Castellani
Positive interactions in plant communities are under-reported in subtropical systems most likely because they are not identified as stressful environments. However, environmental factors or disturbance can limit plant growth in any system and lead to stressful conditions. For instance, salinity and low nutrient and water availability generate a gradient of stressful conditions in coastal systems depending on distance to shore. In a tropical coastal system in SE Brazil, we aimed to assess whether Guapira opposita , a shrub common in restinga environments, acted as nurse involved in ecological succession and which factors influenced its facilitation process...
April 2018: AoB Plants
Jess K Zimmerman, James Aaron Hogan, Christopher J Nytch, John E Bithorn
Interannual changes in global climate and weather disturbances may influence reproduction in tropical forests. Phenomena such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are known to produce interannual variation in reproduction, as do severe storms such as hurricanes. Using stationary trap-based phenology data collected fortnightly from 1993 to 2014 from a hurricane-affected (1989 Hugo, 1998 Georges) subtropical wet forest in northeastern Puerto Rico, we conducted a time series analysis of flowering and seed production...
June 2018: Ecology
Michelle Ramos-Robles, Wesley Dáttilo, Cecilia Díaz-Castelazo, Ellen Andresen
Interactions between fleshy fruited plants and frugivores are crucial for the structuring and functioning of biotic communities, particularly in tropical forests where both groups are diverse and play different roles in network organization. However, it remains poorly understood how different groups of frugivore species and fruit traits contribute to network structure. We recorded interactions among 28 plant species and three groups of frugivores (birds, bats, and non-flying mammals) in a seasonal forest in Mexico to determine which species contribute more to network structure and evaluate the importance of each species...
April 2, 2018: Die Naturwissenschaften
Luke Browne, Jordan Karubian
Negative density dependence, where survival decreases as density increases, is a well-established driver of species diversity at the community level, but the degree to which a similar process might act on the density or frequency of genotypes within a single plant species to maintain genetic diversity has not been well studied in natural systems. In this study, we determined the maternal genotype of naturally dispersed seeds of the palm Oenocarpus bataua within a tropical forest in northwest Ecuador, tracked the recruitment of each seed, and assessed the role of individual-level genotypic rarity on survival...
June 2018: New Phytologist
Jeison Herley Rosero-Toro, Luz Piedad Romero-Duque, Dídac Santos-Fita, Felipe Ruan-Soto
BACKGROUND: In Colombia, ethnobotanical studies regarding plant cultural significance (CS) in tropical dry forests are scarce and mainly focused on the Caribbean region. Different authors have indicated that the plants with the most uses are those of greater cultural importance. Additionally, gender differences in knowledge and interest in natural resources has been widely recorded. This study evaluated the cultural significance of plants in the Doche community, in the Department of Huila...
March 22, 2018: Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
Óscar M Chaves, Júlio César Bicca-Marques, Colin A Chapman
Seed dispersal is a key process driving the structure, composition, and regeneration of tropical forests. Larger frugivores play a crucial role in community structuring by dispersing large seeds not dispersed by smaller frugivores. We assessed the hypothesis that brown howler monkeys (Alouatta guariba clamitans) provide seed dispersal services for a wide assemblage of plant species in both small and large Atlantic forest fragments. Although fruit availability often decreases in small fragments compared with large ones, we predicted that brown howlers are efficient seed dispersers in quantitative and qualitative terms in both forest types given their high dietary flexibility...
2018: PloS One
Erika Buscardo, József Geml, Steven K Schmidt, Helena Freitas, Hillândia Brandão da Cunha, Laszlo Nagy
Most tropical evergreen rain forests are characterised by varying degrees of precipitation seasonality that influence plant phenology and litterfall dynamics. Soil microbes are sensitive to soil water:air ratio and to nutrient availability. We studied if within-year seasonality in precipitation and litterfall-derived nutrient input resulted in predictable seasonal variation in soil bacterial diversity/microbial functional groups in an Amazonian forest. We characterised the spatio-temporal dynamics of microbial communities from the plot to the stand scales and related them to precipitation seasonality and spatial variability in soil characteristics...
March 12, 2018: Scientific Reports
Xavier Arnan, Gabriela B Arcoverde, Marcio R Pie, José D Ribeiro-Neto, Inara R Leal
Anthropogenic disturbance and climate change are major threats to biodiversity. The Brazilian Caatinga is the world's largest and most diverse type of seasonally dry tropical forest. It is also one of the most threatened, but remains poorly studied. Here, we analyzed the individual and combined effects of anthropogenic disturbance (three types: livestock grazing, wood extraction, and miscellaneous use of forest resources) and increasing aridity on taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional ant diversity in the Caatinga...
August 1, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Columba Monroy-Ortiz, Edmundo García-Moya, Angélica Romero-Manzanares, Mario Luna-Cavazos, Rafael Monroy
This research integrates Traditional and Formal Ecological Knowledge (TEK / FEK) of a Tropical Dry Forest in central Mexico, in order to assess harvesting and conservation of the non-timber forest species. We were interested in: knowing the structure and diversity of the forest community; identifying which are the tree resources of common interest to the users through participatory workshops. A further interest was to identify those resources which are important to local people in terms of preservation; explaining the relationship of the species with some environmental factors; and visualizing which management practices endanger or facilitate the conservation of species...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Environmental Management
Encarni Montoya, Hayley F Keen, Carmen X Luzuriaga, William D Gosling
Tropical ecosystems play a key role in many aspects of Earth system dynamics currently of global concern, including carbon sequestration and biodiversity. To accurately understand complex tropical systems it is necessary to parameterise key ecological aspects, such as rates of change (RoC), species turnover, dynamism, resilience, or stability. To obtain a long-term (>50 years) perspective on these ecological aspects we must turn to the fossil record. However, compared to temperate zones, collecting continuous sedimentary archives in the lowland tropics is often difficult due to the active landscape processes, with potentially frequent volcanic, tectonic, and/or fluvial events confounding sediment deposition, preservation, and recovery...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
João Paulo Gomes Viana, Marcos Vinícius Bohrer Monteiro Siqueira, Fabiano Lucas Araujo, Carolina Grando, Patricia Sanae Sujii, Ellida de Aguiar Silvestre, Mariana Novello, José Baldin Pinheiro, Marcelo Mattos Cavallari, Pedro H S Brancalion, Ricardo Ribeiro Rodrigues, Anete Pereira de Souza, Julian Catchen, Maria I Zucchi
The primary focus of tropical forest restoration has been the recovery of forest structure and tree taxonomic diversity, with limited attention given to genetic conservation. Populations reintroduced through restoration plantings may have low genetic diversity and be genetically structured due to founder effects and genetic drift, which limit the potential of restoration to recover ecologically resilient plant communities. Here, we studied the genetic diversity, genetic structure and differentiation using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers between restored and natural populations of the native tree Casearia sylvestris in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil...
2018: PloS One
Benjamin L Turner, Tania Brenes-Arguedas, Richard Condit
Phosphorus availability is widely assumed to limit primary productivity in tropical forests, but support for this paradigm is equivocal. Although biogeochemical theory predicts that phosphorus limitation should be prevalent on old, strongly weathered soils, experimental manipulations have failed to detect a consistent response to phosphorus addition in species-rich lowland tropical forests. Here we show, by quantifying the growth of 541 tropical tree species across a steep natural phosphorus gradient in Panama, that phosphorus limitation is widespread at the level of individual species and strengthens markedly below a threshold of two parts per million exchangeable soil phosphate...
March 15, 2018: Nature
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