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Data from: A phylogenetic- and trait-based analysis of community assembly in a subtropical forest in central China

Citation

Zhang, Jiaxin et al. (2021), Data from: A phylogenetic- and trait-based analysis of community assembly in a subtropical forest in central China, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f7m0cfxsd

Abstract

Despite several decades of study in community ecology, the relative importance of the ecological processes that determine species co-occurrence across spatial scales remains uncertain. Some of this uncertainty may be reduced by studying the scale dependency of community assembly in the light of environmental variation. Phylogenetic and functional trait information are often used to provide potentially valuable insights into the drivers of community assembly. Here, we combined phylogenetic- and trait-based tests to gain insights into community processes at four spatial scales in a large stem-mapped subtropical forest dynamics plot in central China. We found that all of the six leaf economic traits measured in this study had weak, but significant, phylogenetic signal. Non-random phylogenetic and trait-based patterns associated with topographic variables indicate that deterministic processes tend to dominate community assembly in this plot. Specifically, we found that, on average, co-occurring species were more phylogenetically and functionally similar than expected throughout the plot at most spatial scales and assemblages of less similar than expected species could only be found on finer spatial scales. In sum, our results suggest that the trait-based effects on community assembly change with spatial scale in a predictable manner and the association of these patterns with topographic variables, indicates the importance of deterministic processes in community assembly relatively to random processes.

Methods

This dataset includes one Excel files, a list of trait data used in this study, species with latin name and individuals (please see Materials and methods for details).

Usage Notes

The definitions for all columns (i.e. variables) within each sheet have been listed in the meta sheet.

Funding

Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Award: XDB31000000

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31670441

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31270562

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31270562

National Program on Key Basic Research Project, Award: 2014CB954004

Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network, Award: 29200931131101919

Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Award: XDB31000000

National Program on Key Basic Research Project, Award: 2014CB954004

Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network, Award: 2.92E+16