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Demographic rates and stature of tree species in 13 sub-tropical forests: annual growth, annual survival, annual recruitment >( 1 cm dbh), stature (max dbh)

Citation

Kambach, Stephan et al. (2022), Demographic rates and stature of tree species in 13 sub-tropical forests: annual growth, annual survival, annual recruitment >( 1 cm dbh), stature (max dbh), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.41ns1rngn

Abstract

Organisms of all species must balance their allocation to growth, survival and recruitment. Among tree species, evolution has resulted in different life-history strategies for partitioning resources to these key demographic processes. Life-history strategies in tropical forests have often been shown to align along a trade-off between fast growth and high survival, i.e. the well-known fast-slow continuum. In addition, an orthogonal trade-off has been proposed between tall stature – resulting from fast growth and high survival – and recruitment success, i.e. a stature−recruitment trade-off. However, it is not clear if these two independent dimensions of life-history variation structure tropical forests worldwide.

We used data from 13 large-scale and long-term tropical forest monitoring plots in three continents to explore the principal trade-offs in annual growth, survival and recruitment as well as tree stature. These forests included relatively undisturbed forests as well as typhoon-disturbed forests. Life-history variation in twelve forests was structured by two orthogonal trade-offs, the growth−survival trade-off and the stature−recruitment trade-off. Pairwise Procrustes analysis revealed a high similarity of demographic relationships among forests. The small deviations were related to differences between African and Asian plots.

Synthesis. The fast-slow continuum and tree stature are two independent dimensions structuring many, but not all tropical tree communities. Our discovery of the consistency of demographic trade-offs and life-history strategies across different forest types from three continents substantially improves our ability to predict tropical forest dynamics worldwide.

Funding

Forestgeo

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

National Science Foundation

National Geographic Society

Conservation, Food and Health Foundation

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft