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Data from: Tropical tree species diversity in a mountain system in southern Mexico: local and regional patterns and determinant factors

Citation

Martínez-Camilo, Rubén et al. (2017), Data from: Tropical tree species diversity in a mountain system in southern Mexico: local and regional patterns and determinant factors, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n41j7

Abstract

Mechanisms explaining patterns of biodiversity along elevation gradients in tropical mountain systems remain controversial. We use a set of climatic, topographic and soil variables encompassing regional, landscape and local-level spatial scales to explain the spatial variation of tree species diversity in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, Mexico. We sampled 128 circular plots (0.1-ha each) in four elevational bands along four elevation gradients or transects encompassing 100-2200 m. A total of 12,533 trees belonging to 444 species were recorded. Diversity patterns along the elevation gradient and the explanatory power of independent variables were dependent on spatial scale (regional vs transect) and functional group (total vs late-successional or pioneer species). Diversity of all species and late-successional species (1 - proportion of pioneer species) showed a constant pattern at the regional and transect scales, with low predictive power of climatic variables and/or elevation. A linear decrease of either number or proportion of pioneer species diversity was observed with increasing elevation, which was correlated with temperature, rainfall, and human disturbance trends. Total species diversity showed an increase with rainfall of the warmest quarter, indicating a regional-level limiting effect of seasonality (drought duration). Yet the explanatory power of climatic and topographic variables was higher at the individual transect level than at the regional scale, suggesting the parallel but differential influence of evolutionary and geological history factors on diversification not so far studied to explain elevation patterns of species diversity in tropical mountain systems.

Usage Notes

Location

Sierra Madre of Chiapas
Mexico