Small-scale species richness in forest canopy gaps: The role of niche limitation versus the size of the species pool

R.P. Duncan, H.L. Buckley, S.C. Urlich, G.H. Stewart, J. Geritzlehner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The form of the relationship between local species richness and the number of species in the surrounding region can be used as a test between competing theories of community structure. For 32 canopy gaps in New Zealand Nothofagus forest, we examined the relationship between the number of vascular plant species in 0.2-m2 quadrats within the gap and the species richness of the whole gap. We found no evidence that competition for a limited number of niches placed an upper limit on the number of locally co-occurring species. Rather, the mean number of species in quadrats within canopy gaps increased in direct proportion to gap species richness. This relationship held after we controlled for potentially confounding factors, including variation in forest floor substrate, and gap size, age, shape and orientation. Our results suggest that even over relatively small spatial scales, local species richness can be constrained by the size of the species pool in the immediately surrounding region.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)455-460
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
    Volume9
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Cite this

    Duncan, R.P. ; Buckley, H.L. ; Urlich, S.C. ; Stewart, G.H. ; Geritzlehner, J. / Small-scale species richness in forest canopy gaps: The role of niche limitation versus the size of the species pool. In: Journal of Vegetation Science. 1998 ; Vol. 9, No. 3. pp. 455-460.
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    abstract = "The form of the relationship between local species richness and the number of species in the surrounding region can be used as a test between competing theories of community structure. For 32 canopy gaps in New Zealand Nothofagus forest, we examined the relationship between the number of vascular plant species in 0.2-m2 quadrats within the gap and the species richness of the whole gap. We found no evidence that competition for a limited number of niches placed an upper limit on the number of locally co-occurring species. Rather, the mean number of species in quadrats within canopy gaps increased in direct proportion to gap species richness. This relationship held after we controlled for potentially confounding factors, including variation in forest floor substrate, and gap size, age, shape and orientation. Our results suggest that even over relatively small spatial scales, local species richness can be constrained by the size of the species pool in the immediately surrounding region.",
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    Small-scale species richness in forest canopy gaps: The role of niche limitation versus the size of the species pool. / Duncan, R.P.; Buckley, H.L.; Urlich, S.C.; Stewart, G.H.; Geritzlehner, J.

    In: Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 9, No. 3, 1998, p. 455-460.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Duncan, R.P.

    AU - Buckley, H.L.

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    AU - Stewart, G.H.

    AU - Geritzlehner, J.

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