Data from: Tropical tree height and crown allometries for the Barro Colorado Nature Monument, Panama: a comparison of alternative hierarchical models incorporating interspecific variation in relation to life history traits
Martinez Cano, Isabel
Muller-Landau, Helene C., Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Wright, S. Joseph, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Bohlman, Stephanie A., Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Pacala, Stephen W., Princeton University
Published Mar 04, 2019 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Martinez Cano, Isabel et al. (2019). Data from: Tropical tree height and crown allometries for the Barro Colorado Nature Monument, Panama: a comparison of alternative hierarchical models incorporating interspecific variation in relation to life history traits [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.85k53v8
Tree allometric relationships are widely employed for estimating forest biomass and production and are basic building blocks of dynamic vegetation models. In tropical forests, allometric relationships are often modeled by fitting scale-invariant power functions to pooled data from multiple species, an approach that fails to capture changes in scaling during ontogeny and physical limits to maximum tree size and that ignores interspecific differences in allometry. Here, we analyzed allometric relationships of tree height (9884 individuals) and crown area (2425) with trunk diameter for 162 species from the Barro Colorado Nature Monument, Panama. We fit nonlinear, hierarchical models informed by species traits – wood density, mean sapling growth, or sapling mortality – and assessed the performance of three alternative functional forms: the scale-invariant power function and the saturating Weibull and generalized Michaelis–Menten (gMM) functions. The relationship of tree height with trunk diameter was best fit by a saturating gMM model in which variation in allometric parameters was related to interspecific differences in sapling growth rates, a measure of regeneration light demand. Light-demanding species attained taller heights at comparatively smaller diameters as juveniles and had shorter asymptotic heights at larger diameters as adults. The relationship of crown area with trunk diameter was best fit by a power function model incorporating a weak positive relationship between crown area and species-specific wood density. The use of saturating functional forms and the incorporation of functional traits in tree allometric models is a promising approach for improving estimates of forest biomass and productivity. Our results provide an improved basis for parameterizing tropical plant functional types in vegetation models.
`DiameterHeightCrown20190104.csv` includes 9885 tree height and 2425 crown area measurements at Barro Colorado National Monument.
`SpeciesTraits20190104.csv` includes species-specific traits that entered as covariates in our allometric models; these data were included only for completeness, please refer to the original sources and include a citation to the manuscripts detailed in the readme file in case you want to use these data.