From earthquakes to island area: multi‐scale effects upon local diversity

2024 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​From earthquakes to island area: multi‐scale effects upon local diversity​
Trethowan, L. A.; Brambach, F.; Cámara‐Leret, R.; Laumonier, Y.; Sheil, D.; Ferry Slik, J. W. & Webb, C. O. et al.​ (2024) 
Ecography2024(5) art. e07038​.​ DOI: 

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Trethowan, Liam A.; Brambach, Fabian; Cámara‐Leret, Rodrigo; Laumonier, Yves; Sheil, Douglas; Ferry Slik, J. W.; Webb, Campbell O.; Murdjoko, Agustinus; Bastian, Meredith L.; Kartawinata, Kuswata; Brearley, Francis Q.
Tropical forests occupy small coral atolls to the vast Amazon basin. They occur across bioregions with different geological and climatic history. Differences in area and bioregional history shape species immigration, extinction and diversification. How this effects local diversity is unclear. The Indonesian archipelago hosts thousands of tree species whose coexistence should depend upon these factors. Using a novel dataset of 215 Indonesian forest plots, across fifteen islands ranging in area from 120 to 785 000 km 2 , we apply Gaussian mixed effects models to examine the simultaneous effects of environment, earthquake proximity, island area and bioregion upon tree diversity for trees ≥ 10 cm diameter at breast height. We find that tree diversity declines with precipitation seasonality and increases with island area. Accounting for the effects of environment and island area we show that the westernmost bioregion Sunda has greater local diversity than Wallacea, which in turn has greater local diversity than easternmost Sahul. However, when the model includes geological activity (here proximity to major earthquakes), bioregion differences are reduced. Overall, results indicate that multi‐scale, current and historic effects dictate tree diversity. These multi‐scale drivers should not be ignored when studying biodiversity gradients and their impacts upon ecosystem function.
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