Comparing tropical forest tree size distributions with the predictions of metabolic ecology and equilibrium models

Helene C. Muller-Landau, Richard S. Condit, Kyle E. Harms, Christian O. Marks, Sean C. Thomas, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, George Chuyong, Leonardo Co, Stuart Davies, Robin Foster, Savitri Gunatilleke, Nimal Gunatilleke, Terese Hart, Stephen P. Hubbell, Akira Itoh, Abd Rahman Kassim, David Kenfack, James V. LaFrankie, Daniel Lagunzad, Hua Seng LeeElizabeth Losos, Jean Remy Makana, Tatsuhiro Ohkubo, Cristian Samper, Raman Sukumar, I. Fang Sun, M. N. Nur Supardi, Sylvester Tan, Duncan Thomas, Jill Thompson, Renato Valencia, Martha Isabel Vallejo, Gorky Villa Muñoz, Takuo Yamakura, Jess K. Zimmerman, Handanakere Shavaramaiah Dattaraja, Shameema Esufali, Pamela Hall, Fangliang He, Consuelo Hernandez, Somboon Kiratiprayoon, Hebbalalu S. Suresh, Christopher Wills, Peter Ashton

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

164 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

Tropical forests vary substantially in the densities of trees of different sizes and thus in above-ground biomass and carbon stores. However, these tree size distributions show fundamental similarities suggestive of underlying general principles. The theory of metabolic ecology predicts that tree abundances will scale as the -2 power of diameter. Demographic equilibrium theory explains tree abundances in terms of the scaling of growth and mortality. We use demographic equilibrium theory to derive analytic predictions for tree size distributions corresponding to different growth and mortality functions. We test both sets of predictions using data from 14 large-scale tropical forest plots encompassing censuses of 473 ha and > 2 million trees. The data are uniformly inconsistent with the predictions of metabolic ecology. In most forests, size distributions are much closer to the predictions of demographic equilibrium, and thus, intersite variation in size distributions is explained partly by intersite variation in growth and mortality.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)589-602
Número de páginas14
PublicaciónEcology Letters
Volumen9
N.º5
DOI
EstadoPublicada - may. 2006

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