• 1 Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Illinois, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL, 61801, USA.
  • 2 Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, H3C3P8, Canada
  • 3 Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, 202 Life Sciences Building, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, USA
  • 4 Department of Natural Resources, 16 Fernow Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
  • 5 Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, P.O. BCKV Campus Main Office, Mohanpur, Nadia, West Bengal, 741252, India
  • 6 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Apartado Postal 0843-03092, Balboa, Ancon, Republic of Panama
  • 7 Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, 20400, Sri Lanka
  • 8 National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation Department, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand
  • 9 Faculty of Science and Technology, Thammasat University (Rangsit), Klongluang, Patumtani, 12121, Thailand
  • 10 Faculty of Plantation and Agrotechnology, University Technology MARA, 40450, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 11 Forest Environment Division, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, 52109, Kepong, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
  • 12 Laboratorio de Ecología de Plantas y Herbario QCA, Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Apartado 17-01-2184, Quito, Ecuador
  • 13 Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, Republic of Cameroon
  • 14 Center for Tropical Forest Science, Arnold Arboretum Asia Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 15 Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331-2902, USA
  • 16 Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL, 61801, USA
Oecologia, 2016 10;182(2):547-57.
PMID: 27337965 DOI: 10.1007/s00442-016-3686-2


While the importance of local-scale habitat niches in shaping tree species turnover along environmental gradients in tropical forests is well appreciated, relatively little is known about the influence of phylogenetic signal in species' habitat niches in shaping local community structure. We used detailed maps of the soil resource and topographic variation within eight 24-50 ha tropical forest plots combined with species phylogenies created from the APG III phylogeny to examine how phylogenetic beta diversity (indicating the degree of phylogenetic similarity of two communities) was related to environmental gradients within tropical tree communities. Using distance-based redundancy analysis we found that phylogenetic beta diversity, expressed as either nearest neighbor distance or mean pairwise distance, was significantly related to both soil and topographic variation in all study sites. In general, more phylogenetic beta diversity within a forest plot was explained by environmental variables this was expressed as nearest neighbor distance versus mean pairwise distance (3.0-10.3 % and 0.4-8.8 % of variation explained among plots, respectively), and more variation was explained by soil resource variables than topographic variables using either phylogenetic beta diversity metric. We also found that patterns of phylogenetic beta diversity expressed as nearest neighbor distance were consistent with previously observed patterns of niche similarity among congeneric species pairs in these plots. These results indicate the importance of phylogenetic signal in local habitat niches in shaping the phylogenetic structure of tropical tree communities, especially at the level of close phylogenetic neighbors, where similarity in habitat niches is most strongly preserved.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.