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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Competition influences tree growth, but not mortality, across environmental gradients in Amazonia and tropical Africa
Author(s): Rozendaal, Danae M A
Phillips, Oliver L
Lewis, Simon L
Affum-Baffoe, Kofi
Alvarez Dávila, Esteban
Andrade, Ana
Aragão, Luiz E O C
Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro
Baker, Timothy R
Bánki, Olaf
Brienen, Roel J W
Camargo, Jose Luis C
Comiskey, James A
Djuikouo, Marie Noel K
White, Lee J T
Keywords: climatic water deficit
forest dynamics
tree growth
neighborhood effects
soil fertility
trait‐based models
tropical forest
wood density
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Rozendaal DMA, Phillips OL, Lewis SL, Affum-Baffoe K, Alvarez Dávila E, Andrade A, Aragão LEOC, Araujo-Murakami A, Baker TR, Bánki O, Brienen RJW, Camargo JLC, Comiskey JA, Djuikouo MNK & White LJT (2020) Competition influences tree growth, but not mortality, across environmental gradients in Amazonia and tropical Africa. Ecology.
Abstract: Competition among trees is an important driver of community structure and dynamics in tropical forests. Neighboring trees may impact an individual tree’s growth rate and probability of mortality, but large‐scale geographic and environmental variation in these competitive effects has yet to be evaluated across the tropical forest biome. We quantified effects of competition on tree‐level basal area growth and mortality for trees ≥ 10 cm diameter across 151 ~1‐ha plots in mature tropical forests in Amazonia and tropical Africa by developing non‐linear models that accounted for wood density, tree size and neighborhood crowding. Using these models, we assessed how water availability (i.e., climatic water deficit) and soil fertility influenced the predicted plot‐level strength of competition (i.e., the extent to which growth is reduced, or mortality is increased, by competition across all individual trees). On both continents, tree basal area growth decreased with wood density, and increased with tree size. Growth decreased with neighborhood crowding, which suggests that competition is important. Tree mortality decreased with wood density and generally increased with tree size, but was apparently unaffected by neighborhood crowding. Across plots, variation in the plot‐level strength of competition was most strongly related to plot basal area (i.e., the sum of the basal area of all trees in a plot), with greater reductions in growth occurring in forests with high basal area, but in Amazonia the strength of competition also varied with plot‐level wood density. In Amazonia, the strength of competition increased with water availability because of the greater basal area of wetter forests, but was only weakly related to soil fertility. In Africa, competition was weakly related to soil fertility, and invariant across the shorter water availability gradient. Overall, our results suggest that competition influences the structure and dynamics of tropical forests primarily through effects on individual tree growth rather than mortality, and that the strength of competition largely depends on environment‐mediated variation in basal area.
DOI Link: 10.1002/ecy.3052
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as DOI: 10.1002/ECY.3052 This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
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