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Site-specific impacts of a major hurricane on alpha and beta diversity in tropical forest seedling communities
Worthy, Samantha J.; Rubio, Vanessa E.; Staiger, Kirstin; Ngouajio, Boris; Yang, Jie2,3; Swenson, Nathan G.
2021
Source PublicationECOSPHERE
ISSN2150-8925
Volume12Issue:7Pages:-
Abstract

Large scale disturbances are known to impact the alpha and beta diversity of communities. However, whether these disturbances increase or decrease diversity is often debated. The goal of this study was to quantify how the diversity of the seedling community was impacted within and across elevation in the El Yunque forest of Puerto Rico following a major hurricane. We tested two alternative hypotheses, that hurricanes are relatively more homogenizing or non-homogenizing forces, by quantifying changes in alpha and beta diversity of the seedling community post-hurricane. This approach highlights whether ecological mechanisms associated with community homogenization (species-specific survival, successional processes, and reduced environmental heterogeneity) or non-homogenization (resource release, increased environmental heterogeneity, and stochastic processes) structure the seedling community post-hurricane. We compared species richness, Fisher's alpha, Simpson's evenness, and multiple aspects of beta diversity within and among 25 seedling plots at 300, 400, and 500 m in elevation pre- and post-hurricane. We found that species richness, diversity, and evenness were higher post-hurricane, but abundance decreased 19%. Increases in alpha diversity suggest that hurricanes are non-homogenizing forces potentially linked with increases in light levels promoting colonization of early-successional species and resource release for other light-demanding species. The beta diversity results varied in their support for hurricanes as homogenizing depending upon the spatial scale of the analysis, potentially due to a combination of mechanisms including species-specific survival and site-specific differences. To fully grasp how the seedling community responds and recovers from disturbance, additional long-term monitoring will be needed to allow insight into the future of species richness, abundance, and spatial and temporal changes in community composition.

Keywordalpha diversity beta diversity hurricane Puerto Rico seedling communities tropics
Subject AreaEnvironmental Sciences & Ecology
DOI10.1002/ecs2.3651
Indexed BySCI
Language英语
WOS IDWOS:000678730500040
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.xtbg.org.cn/handle/353005/12332
Collection森林生态研究组
Affiliation1.Univ Maryland, Dept Biol, College Pk, MD 20742 USA
2.Rubio, Vanessa E.; Swenson, Nathan G.] Univ Notre Dame, Dept Biol Sci, South Bend, IN 46556 USA
3.Chinese Acad Sci, CAS Key Lab Trop Forest Ecol, Xishuangbanna Trop Bot Garden, Mengla 666303, Peoples R China
4.Chinese Acad Sci, Core Bot Gardens, Ctr Plant Ecol, Mengla 666303, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Worthy, Samantha J.,Rubio, Vanessa E.,Staiger, Kirstin,et al. Site-specific impacts of a major hurricane on alpha and beta diversity in tropical forest seedling communities[J]. ECOSPHERE,2021,12(7):-.
APA Worthy, Samantha J.,Rubio, Vanessa E.,Staiger, Kirstin,Ngouajio, Boris,Yang, Jie,&Swenson, Nathan G..(2021).Site-specific impacts of a major hurricane on alpha and beta diversity in tropical forest seedling communities.ECOSPHERE,12(7),-.
MLA Worthy, Samantha J.,et al."Site-specific impacts of a major hurricane on alpha and beta diversity in tropical forest seedling communities".ECOSPHERE 12.7(2021):-.
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