Consistent patterns of common species across tropical tree communities

DLM Cooper, SL Lewis, MJP Sullivan, PI Prado, H ter Steege, N Barbier, F Slik, B Sonké, CEN Ewango, S Adu-Bredu, K Affum-Baffoe, DPP de Aguiar, MAA Reategui, SI Aiba, BW Albuquerque, FDD Matos, A Alonso, CA Amani, DD do Amaral, IL do AmaralA Andrade, IPD Miranda, IB Angoboy, A Araujo-Murakami, NC Arboleda, L Arroyo, P Ashton, CGA Aymard, C Baider, TR Baker, MPB Balinga, H Balslev, LF Banin, OS Bánki, C Baraloto, EM Barbosa, FR Barbosa, J Barlow, JF Bastin, H Beeckman, S Begne, NN Bengone, E Berenguer, N Berry, R Bitariho, P Boeckx, J Bogaert, B Bonyoma, P Boundja, N Bourland, FB Bosela, F Brambach, R Brienen, DFRP Burslem, JL Camargo, W Campelo, A Cano, S Cárdenas, DC López, RD Carpanedo, YAC Márquez, FA Carvalho, LF Casas, H Castellanos, CV Castilho, C Cerón, CA Chapman, J Chave, P Chhang, W Chutipong, GB Chuyong, BBL Cintra, CJ Clark, FC de Souza, JA Comiskey, DA Coomes, FC Valverde, DF Correa, FRC Costa, JBP Costa, P Couteron, H Culmsee, A Cuni-Sanchez, F Dallmeier, G Damasco, G Dauby, N Dávila, HPD Doza, JDT De Alban, RL de Assis, C De Canniere, T De Haulleville, MDV Carim, LO Demarchi, KG Dexter, A Di Fiore, HHM Din, MI Disney, BY Djiofack, MNK Djuikouo, T Van Do, JL Doucet, FC Draper, V Droissart, JF Duivenvoorden, J Engel, V Estienne, W Farfan-Rios, S Fauset, KJ Feeley, YO Feitosa, TR Feldpausch, C Ferreira, J Ferreira, LV Ferreira, CD Fletcher, BM Flores, A Fofanah, EG Foli, E Fonty, GM Fredriksson, A Fuentes, D Galbraith, GPG Gonzales, K Garcia-Cabrera, R García-Villacorta, VHF Gomes, RZ Gómez, T Gonzales, R Gribel, MC Guedes, JE Guevara, KR Hakeem, JS Hall, KC Hamer, RD Harrison, DJ Harris, RD Harrison, TB Hart, A Hector, TW Henkel, J Herbohn, MBN Hockemba, B Hoffman, M Holmgren, ENH Coronado, I Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, W Hubau, N Imai, MV Irume, PA Jansen, KJ Jeffery, EM Jimenez, T Jucker, AB Junqueira, M Kalamandeen, NG Kamdem, K Kartawinata, EK Yakusu, JM Katembo, E Kearsley, D Kenfack, M Kessler, TT Khaing, TJ Killeen, K Kitayama, B Klitgaard, N Labriere, Y Laumonier, SGW Laurance, WF Laurance, F Laurent, TC Le, ME Leal, EMLD Novo, A Levesley, MB Libalah, JC Licona, DD Lima, JA Lindsell, A Lopes, MA Lopes, JC Lovett, R Lowe, JR Lozada, XH Lu, NK Luambua, BG Luize, P Maas, JLL Magalhaes, WE Magnusson, NPD Mahayani, JR Makana, Y Malhi, LM Rincón, A Mansor, AG Manzatto, BS Marimon, BH Jr Marimon, AR Marshall, MP Martins, FM Mbayu, MB de Medeiros, I Mesones, F Metali, V Mihindou, J Millet, W Milliken, HF Mogollon, JF Molino, MNM Said, AM Mendoza, JC Montero, S Moore, B Mostacedo, LFM Pinto, SA Mukul, PKT Munishi, H Nagamasu, HEM Nascimento, MT Nascimento, D Neill, R Nilus, JC Noronha, L Nsenga, PN Vargas, L Ojo, AA Oliveira, EA de Oliveira, FE Ondo, WP Cuenca, S Pansini, MP Pansonato, MR Paredes, E Paudel, D Pauletto, RG Pearson, JLM Pena, RT Pennington, CA Peres, A Permana, P Petronelli, MCP Mora, JF Phillips, OL Phillips, G Pickavance, MTF Piedade, NCA Pitman, P Ploton, A Popelier, JR Poulsen, A Prieto, RB Primack, H Priyadi, L Qie, AC Quaresma, HL de Queiroz, H Ramirez-Angulo, JF Ramos, NFC Reis, J Reitsma, JDC Revilla, T Riutta, G Rivas-Torres, I Robiansyah, M Rocha, DD Rodrigues, ME Rodriguez-Ronderos, F Rovero, AH Rozak, A Rudas, E Rutishauser, D Sabatier, L Sagang, AF Sampaio, I Samsoedin, M Satdichanh, J Schietti, J Schöngart, VV Scudeller, N Seuaturien, D Sheil, R Sierra, MR Silman, TSF Silva, JRD Guimaraes, M Simo-Droissart, MF Simon, P Sist, TR Sousa, ED Farias, LD Coelho, DV Spracklen, SM Stas, R Steinmetz, PR Stevenson, J Stropp, RS Sukri, TCH Sunderland, E Suzuki, MD Swaine, JW Tang, J Taplin, DM Taylor, JS Tello, J Terborgh, N Texier, I Theilade, DW Thomas, R Thomas, SC Thomas, M Tirado, B Toirambe, JJ de Toledo, KW Tomlinson, A Torres-Lezama, HD Tran, JT Mukendi, RD Tumaneng, MN Umaña, PM Umunay, LEU Giraldo, EHV Sandoval, LV Gamarra, TR Van Andel, M van de Bult, J van de Pol, G van der Heijden, R Vasquez, CIA Vela, EM Venticinque, H Verbeeck, RKA Veridiano, A Vicentini, ICG Vieira, EV Torre, D Villarroel, BEV Zegarra, J Vleminckx, P von Hildebrand, VA Vos, C Vriesendorp, EL Webb, LJT White, S Wich, F Wittmann, R Zagt, RG Zang, CE Zartman, L Zemagho, EL Zent, S Zent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Trees structure the Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystem, tropical forests. The vast number of tree species presents a formidable challenge to understanding these forests, including their response to environmental change, as very little is known about most tropical tree species. A focus on the common species may circumvent this challenge. Here we investigate abundance patterns of common tree species using inventory data on 1,003,805 trees with trunk diameters of at least 10 cm across 1,568 locations 1–6 in closed-canopy, structurally intact old-growth tropical forests in Africa, Amazonia and Southeast Asia. We estimate that 2.2%, 2.2% and 2.3% of species comprise 50% of the tropical trees in these regions, respectively. Extrapolating across all closed-canopy tropical forests, we estimate that just 1,053 species comprise half of Earth’s 800 billion tropical trees with trunk diameters of at least 10 cm. Despite differing biogeographic, climatic and anthropogenic histories 7, we find notably consistent patterns of common species and species abundance distributions across the continents. This suggests that fundamental mechanisms of tree community assembly may apply to all tropical forests. Resampling analyses show that the most common species are likely to belong to a manageable list of known species, enabling targeted efforts to understand their ecology. Although they do not detract from the importance of rare species, our results open new opportunities to understand the world’s most diverse forests, including modelling their response to environmental change, by focusing on the common species that constitute the majority of their trees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-733
Number of pages7
JournalNature
Volume625
Issue number7996
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2024

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