PMID: 11607468Mar 29, 1994Paper

Dynamics and species richness of tropical rain forests

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
O L PhillipsR Vásquez


We present a worldwide analysis of humid tropical forest dynamics and tree species richness. New tree mortality, recruitment, and species richness data include the most dynamic and diverse mature tropical forests known. Twenty-five sites show a strong tendency for the most species-rich forests to be dynamic and aseasonal. Mean annual tree mortality and recruitment-turnover-is the most predictive factor of species richness, implying that small-scale disturbance helps regulate tropical forest diversity. Turnover rates are also closely related to the amount of basal area turnover in mature tropical forests. Therefore the contribution of small-scale disturbance to maintaining tropical forest diversity may ultimately be driven by ecosystem productivity.


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