Asymmetric density dependence shapes species abundances in a tropical tree community
This study examined the question: why are some species common in tropical rainforests while others are rare?
Goals & Methods
The research, which used a computer modeling approach to analyze data from 20,000 1-meter squared plots, examined the degree to which being close to another individual of the same species affected the studied individual's overall abundance.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The results show that some species impair their own regeneration if individuals are too close too each other, and that these species are the ones that tend to be the rarest species in the forest. This research provides statistical evidence of a classical theory of diversity, the Janzen-Connell hypothesis, and, for the first time, demonstrates that the strength of this theory varies by species and species abundance.
Asymmetric Density Dependence Shapes Species Abundances in a Tropical Tree Community. Science. 2010;329:330–332. doi:10.1126/science.1190772..
- National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
- Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN, USA
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa Ancón, Republic of Panamá
- Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA