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Individual species-area relationship of woody plant communities in a heterogeneous subtropical monsoon rainforest.

Tsai CH, Lin YC, Wiegand T, Nakazawa T, Su SH, Hsieh CH, Ding TS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Deviation from the model suggests that the net effect of species' interactions increases (accumulate) or decreases (repel) neighborhood species richness.We found that (i) accumulators were dominant at small interaction distances (<10-30 m); (ii) the detection of accumulator species was lower at large interaction distances (>30 m); (iii) repellers were rarely detected; and (iv) large-sized and abundant species tended to be accumulators.We hypothesized that the frequently disturbed environment of this subtropical rainforest (e.g., typhoon-driven natural disturbances such as landslides, soil erosion, flooding, and windthrow) might create the spatial heterogeneity of species richness and promote positive species interactions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Forestry and Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

ABSTRACT
The spatial structure of species richness is often characterized by the species-area relationship (SAR). However, the SAR approach rarely considers the spatial variability of individual plants that arises from species interactions and species' habitat associations. Here, we explored how the interactions of individual plants of target species influence SAR patterns at a range of neighborhood distances. We analyzed the data of 113,988 woody plants of 110 species from the Fushan Forest Dynamics Plot (25 ha), northern Taiwan, which is a subtropical rainforest heavily influenced by typhoons. We classified 34 dominant species into 3 species types (i.e., accumulator, repeller, or no effect) by testing how the individual species-area relationship (i.e., statistics describing how neighborhood species richness changes around individuals) of target species departs (i.e., positively, negatively, or with no obvious trend) from a model that accounts for habitat association. Deviation from the model suggests that the net effect of species' interactions increases (accumulate) or decreases (repel) neighborhood species richness. We found that (i) accumulators were dominant at small interaction distances (<10-30 m); (ii) the detection of accumulator species was lower at large interaction distances (>30 m); (iii) repellers were rarely detected; and (iv) large-sized and abundant species tended to be accumulators. The findings suggest that positive species interactions have the potential to accumulate neighborhood species richness, particularly through size- and density-dependent mechanisms. We hypothesized that the frequently disturbed environment of this subtropical rainforest (e.g., typhoon-driven natural disturbances such as landslides, soil erosion, flooding, and windthrow) might create the spatial heterogeneity of species richness and promote positive species interactions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Fushan Forest Dynamic Plot.Spatial variations in (A) species richness and (B) woody plant density. Contour lines indicate the elevation (m.a.s.l.). Individuals with diameter at breast height >10 cm are shown.
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pone.0124539.g001: Fushan Forest Dynamic Plot.Spatial variations in (A) species richness and (B) woody plant density. Contour lines indicate the elevation (m.a.s.l.). Individuals with diameter at breast height >10 cm are shown.

Mentions: Our research site was the 25 ha Fushan Forest Dynamics Plot (FFDP) in northern Taiwan (24°45’40” N, 121°33’38” E). At this site, individual plants with a diameter >1 cm at breast height (DBH) have been recorded and mapped using two-dimensional spatial coordinates since 2003. The vegetation dataset of FFDP is provided and maintained by the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (TFRI). The dataset is open to the public and other researchers can obtain the same data by a formal application to TFRI. Readers may contact Sheng-Hsin Su (sush@tfri.gov.tw) for further information [27]. The study area has an average annual temperature of about 18°C, and average annual precipitation of over 4,200 mm delivered by frequent heavy typhoons in summer, and the northeast monsoon in winter [27, 29]. The elevation of the study site ranges from 600 m to 733 m above sea level. The species richness and density of individual woody plants are relatively high (i.e., >15 species, and >40 individuals per 400 m2) in high-elevation areas (Fig 1A and 1B). A previous study showed that many species at this site exhibit strong habitat associations related to wind-induced disturbances [28]. In this study, we used FFDP data that included the locations of 110 species recorded in 2003 and 2004. Individual plants were divided into 18,750 adults (above 10 cm DBH) and 95,238 saplings (1–10 cm DBH). We then extracted the spatial coordinates of adult individuals of major species (i.e., species abundance >50 individuals; note that the choice of this abundance level is for comparison of previous tropical forest studies and is based on the sensitivity analysis; see S1 Text). In our main analysis (i.e., large-large relationships), we considered adults only to examine the long-term history of forest dynamics. In addition, we used the spatial coordinates of small-sized saplings of all species to investigate the size dependent effect of interactions (i.e., large-small relationships).


Individual species-area relationship of woody plant communities in a heterogeneous subtropical monsoon rainforest.

Tsai CH, Lin YC, Wiegand T, Nakazawa T, Su SH, Hsieh CH, Ding TS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Fushan Forest Dynamic Plot.Spatial variations in (A) species richness and (B) woody plant density. Contour lines indicate the elevation (m.a.s.l.). Individuals with diameter at breast height >10 cm are shown.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4401546&req=5

pone.0124539.g001: Fushan Forest Dynamic Plot.Spatial variations in (A) species richness and (B) woody plant density. Contour lines indicate the elevation (m.a.s.l.). Individuals with diameter at breast height >10 cm are shown.
Mentions: Our research site was the 25 ha Fushan Forest Dynamics Plot (FFDP) in northern Taiwan (24°45’40” N, 121°33’38” E). At this site, individual plants with a diameter >1 cm at breast height (DBH) have been recorded and mapped using two-dimensional spatial coordinates since 2003. The vegetation dataset of FFDP is provided and maintained by the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (TFRI). The dataset is open to the public and other researchers can obtain the same data by a formal application to TFRI. Readers may contact Sheng-Hsin Su (sush@tfri.gov.tw) for further information [27]. The study area has an average annual temperature of about 18°C, and average annual precipitation of over 4,200 mm delivered by frequent heavy typhoons in summer, and the northeast monsoon in winter [27, 29]. The elevation of the study site ranges from 600 m to 733 m above sea level. The species richness and density of individual woody plants are relatively high (i.e., >15 species, and >40 individuals per 400 m2) in high-elevation areas (Fig 1A and 1B). A previous study showed that many species at this site exhibit strong habitat associations related to wind-induced disturbances [28]. In this study, we used FFDP data that included the locations of 110 species recorded in 2003 and 2004. Individual plants were divided into 18,750 adults (above 10 cm DBH) and 95,238 saplings (1–10 cm DBH). We then extracted the spatial coordinates of adult individuals of major species (i.e., species abundance >50 individuals; note that the choice of this abundance level is for comparison of previous tropical forest studies and is based on the sensitivity analysis; see S1 Text). In our main analysis (i.e., large-large relationships), we considered adults only to examine the long-term history of forest dynamics. In addition, we used the spatial coordinates of small-sized saplings of all species to investigate the size dependent effect of interactions (i.e., large-small relationships).

Bottom Line: Deviation from the model suggests that the net effect of species' interactions increases (accumulate) or decreases (repel) neighborhood species richness.We found that (i) accumulators were dominant at small interaction distances (<10-30 m); (ii) the detection of accumulator species was lower at large interaction distances (>30 m); (iii) repellers were rarely detected; and (iv) large-sized and abundant species tended to be accumulators.We hypothesized that the frequently disturbed environment of this subtropical rainforest (e.g., typhoon-driven natural disturbances such as landslides, soil erosion, flooding, and windthrow) might create the spatial heterogeneity of species richness and promote positive species interactions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Forestry and Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

ABSTRACT
The spatial structure of species richness is often characterized by the species-area relationship (SAR). However, the SAR approach rarely considers the spatial variability of individual plants that arises from species interactions and species' habitat associations. Here, we explored how the interactions of individual plants of target species influence SAR patterns at a range of neighborhood distances. We analyzed the data of 113,988 woody plants of 110 species from the Fushan Forest Dynamics Plot (25 ha), northern Taiwan, which is a subtropical rainforest heavily influenced by typhoons. We classified 34 dominant species into 3 species types (i.e., accumulator, repeller, or no effect) by testing how the individual species-area relationship (i.e., statistics describing how neighborhood species richness changes around individuals) of target species departs (i.e., positively, negatively, or with no obvious trend) from a model that accounts for habitat association. Deviation from the model suggests that the net effect of species' interactions increases (accumulate) or decreases (repel) neighborhood species richness. We found that (i) accumulators were dominant at small interaction distances (<10-30 m); (ii) the detection of accumulator species was lower at large interaction distances (>30 m); (iii) repellers were rarely detected; and (iv) large-sized and abundant species tended to be accumulators. The findings suggest that positive species interactions have the potential to accumulate neighborhood species richness, particularly through size- and density-dependent mechanisms. We hypothesized that the frequently disturbed environment of this subtropical rainforest (e.g., typhoon-driven natural disturbances such as landslides, soil erosion, flooding, and windthrow) might create the spatial heterogeneity of species richness and promote positive species interactions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus