Idiosyncratic soil-tree species associations and their relationships with drought in a monodominant Amazon forest

F. Elias, B.S. Marimon, B.H. Marimon-Junior, J.C. Budke, A. Esquivel-Muelbert, P.S. Morandi, S.M. Reis, O.L. Phillips

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Monodominant forests are characterized by the strong influence of a single species on the structure and diversity of the community. In the tropics, monodominant forests are rare exceptions within the generally highly diverse tropical forest biome. Some studies have shown that tree monodominance may be a transient state caused by successional and demographic variation among species over time. Working in a Brosimum rubescens Taub. (Moraceae) monodominant forest at the southern edge of Amazonia, we tested the hypotheses that local-scale variation in intra- and interspecific spatial patterns of dominant tree species is affected by i) demographic rates of recruitment and mortality following severe droughts, ii) local variation in edaphic properties, and iii) occupation of species in the vertical layer of the forest. We quantified intra- and interspecific spatial patterns and edaphic associations of the five most abundant species using aggregation and association distance indices, and examined changes over time. We found some support for all hypotheses. Thus, intra- and interspecific spatial patterns of most species varied over time, principally after severe drought, emphasizing species-level variability and their interactions in sensitivity to this disturbance, even as B. rubescens monodominance was maintained. While positive and negative spatial associations with edaphic properties provide evidence of habitat specialization, the absence of negative spatial associations of B. rubescens with edaphic properties indicates that this species experiences little environmental restriction, and this may be one of the factors that explain its monodominance. Spatial repulsion and attraction between species in the same and in different vertical layers, respectively, indicates niche overlap and differentiation, while changes over time indicate that the relationships between species are dynamic and affected by drought disturbance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
JournalActa Oecologica
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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