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Successional shifts in tree demographic strategies in wet and dry Neotropical forests
  • +22
  • Nadja Rüger,
  • Markus Schorn,
  • Stephan Kambach,
  • Robin L. Chazdon,
  • Caroline Farrior,
  • Jorge Meave,
  • Rodrigo Muñoz,
  • Michiel van Breugel,
  • Lucy Amissah,
  • Frans Bongers,
  • Dylan Craven,
  • Bruno Hérault,
  • Catarina Jakovac,
  • Natalia Norden,
  • Lourens Poorter,
  • Masha van der Sande,
  • Christian Wirth,
  • Diego Delgado,
  • Daisy Dent,
  • Saara DeWalt,
  • Juan Manuel Dupuy-Rada,
  • Bryan Finegan,
  • Jefferson Hall,
  • José L. Hernández-Stefanoni,
  • Omar Lopez
Nadja Rüger
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Markus Schorn
Universität Leipzig
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Stephan Kambach
Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
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Robin L. Chazdon
University of Connecticut
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Caroline Farrior
The University of Texas at Austin
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Jorge Meave
Universidad Autónoma de México
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Rodrigo Muñoz
Wageningen University & Research
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Michiel van Breugel
Yale-NUS College
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Lucy Amissah
CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
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Frans Bongers
Wageningen Universiteit en Research
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Dylan Craven
Universidad Mayor
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Bruno Hérault
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Catarina Jakovac
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
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Natalia Norden
Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt
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Lourens Poorter
Wageningen University
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Masha van der Sande
Wageningen Universiteit
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Christian Wirth
Leipzig University Faculty of Life Sciences
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Diego Delgado
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Daisy Dent
University of Stirling
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Saara DeWalt
Clemson University
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Juan Manuel Dupuy-Rada
Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán
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Bryan Finegan
Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza
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Jefferson Hall
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
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José L. Hernández-Stefanoni
Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán
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Omar Lopez
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
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Tropical forest succession and associated changes in community composition are driven by species' demographic rates, but how demographic strategies shift during succession remains unclear. To identify generalities in demographic trade-offs and successional shifts in demographic strategies, we quantified demographic rates of 787 tree species from two wet and two dry Neotropical forests. Across all forests, we found two demographic trade-offs -- the growth--survival and the stature--recruitment trade-off -- enabling the data-driven assignment of species to five demographic strategies. Fast species dominated early in succession and were then replaced by long-lived pioneers in three forests. Intermediate and slow species increased in basal area over succession but in contrast to the current conceptual model, long-lived pioneers continued to dominate until the old-growth stage in all forests. The basal area of short-lived breeders was low across all successional stages. These results increase the mechanistic understanding and predictability of Neotropical forest succession.
Jun 2023Published in Global Ecology and Biogeography volume 32 issue 6 on pages 1002-1014. 10.1111/geb.13669