Evolutionary diversity is associated with wood productivity in Amazonian forests

Fernanda Coelho de Souza*, Kyle G. Dexter, Oliver L. Phillips, Toby R. Pennington, Danilo Neves, Martin J.P. Sullivan, Esteban Alvarez-Davila, Átila Alves, Ieda Amaral, Ana Andrade, Luis E.O.C. Aragao, Alejandro Araujo-Murakami, Eric J.M.M. Arets, Luzmilla Arroyo, Gerardo A. Aymard C, Olaf Bánki, Christopher Baraloto, Jorcely G. Barroso, Rene G.A. Boot, Roel J.W. BrienenFoster Brown, José Luís C. Camargo, Wendeson Castro, Jerome Chave, Alvaro Cogollo, James A. Comiskey, Fernando Cornejo-Valverde, Antonio Lola da Costa, Plínio B. de Camargo, Anthony Di Fiore, Ted R. Feldpausch, David R. Galbraith, Emanuel Gloor, Rosa C. Goodman, Martin Gilpin, Rafael Herrera, Niro Higuchi, Eurídice N. Honorio Coronado, Eliana Jimenez-Rojas, Timothy J. Killeen, Susan Laurance, William F. Laurance, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Thomas E. Lovejoy, Yadvinder Malhi, Beatriz S. Marimon, Ben Hur Marimon-Junior, Casimiro Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo-Mendoza, David A. Neill, Percy Núñez Vargas, Maria C. Peñuela Mora, Georgia C. Pickavance, John J. Pipoly, Nigel C.A. Pitman, Lourens Poorter, Adriana Prieto, Freddy Ramirez, Anand Roopsind, Agustin Rudas, Rafael P. Salomão, Natalino Silva, Marcos Silveira, James Singh, Juliana Stropp, Hans ter Steege, John Terborgh, Raquel Thomas-Caesar, Ricardo K. Umetsu, Rodolfo V. Vasquez, Ima Célia-Vieira, Simone A. Vieira, Vincent A. Vos, Roderick J. Zagt, Timothy R. Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Higher levels of taxonomic and evolutionary diversity are expected to maximize ecosystem function, yet their relative importance in driving variation in ecosystem function at large scales in diverse forests is unknown. Using 90 inventory plots across intact, lowland, terra firme, Amazonian forests and a new phylogeny including 526 angiosperm genera, we investigated the association between taxonomic and evolutionary metrics of diversity and two key measures of ecosystem function: aboveground wood productivity and biomass storage. While taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity were not important predictors of variation in biomass, both emerged as independent predictors of wood productivity. Amazon forests that contain greater evolutionary diversity and a higher proportion of rare species have higher productivity. While climatic and edaphic variables are together the strongest predictors of productivity, our results show that the evolutionary diversity of tree species in diverse forest stands also influences productivity. As our models accounted for wood density and tree size, they also suggest that additional, unstudied, evolutionarily correlated traits have significant effects on ecosystem function in tropical forests. Overall, our pan-Amazonian analysis shows that greater phylogenetic diversity translates into higher levels of ecosystem function: tropical forest communities with more distantly related taxa have greater wood productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1754–1761
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2019

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    Coelho de Souza, F., Dexter, K. G., Phillips, O. L., Pennington, T. R., Neves, D., Sullivan, M. J. P., Alvarez-Davila, E., Alves, Á., Amaral, I., Andrade, A., Aragao, L. E. O. C., Araujo-Murakami, A., Arets, E. J. M. M., Arroyo, L., Aymard C, G. A., Bánki, O., Baraloto, C., Barroso, J. G., Boot, R. G. A., ... Baker, T. R. (2019). Evolutionary diversity is associated with wood productivity in Amazonian forests. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 3, 1754–1761. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-1007-y