Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology
Coelho de Souza, F
Lopez Gonzalez, G
Monteagudo Mendoza, A
Aymard C, GA
de Camargo, PB
Di Fiore, A
Honorio Coronado, EN
Ter Steege, H
van der Hout, P
van der Heijden, GMF
van der Meer, PJ
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
© 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited. This is the final version of the article, available from the Royal Society via the DOI in this record.
Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change.
The field data used in this study have been generated by the RAINFOR network, which has been supported by a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant, the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme projects 283080, ‘GEOCARBON’; and 282664, ‘AMAZALERT’; ERC grant ‘Tropical Forests in the Changing Earth System’), and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Urgency, Consortium and Standard Grants ‘AMAZONICA’ (NE/ F005806/1), ‘TROBIT’ (NE/D005590/1) and ‘Niche Evolution of South American Trees’ (NE/I028122/1). Additional data were included from the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network — a collaboration between Conservation International, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Smithsonian Institution and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and partly funded by these institutions, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and other donors. Fieldwork was also partially supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cient´ıfico e Tecnolo´gico of Brazil (CNPq), project Programa de Pesquisas Ecolo´gicas de Longa Durac¸a˜o (PELD-403725/2012-7). F.C.S. is supported by a PhD scholarship from Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel - Brasil (CAPES) (117913-6). O.L.P. is supported by an ERC Advanced Grant and is a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award holder and T.R.B. acknowledges support from a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (RF-2015-653).
Vol. 283 (1844), article 20161587
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