Scaling issues of neutral theory reveal violations of ecological equivalence for dominant Amazonian tree species

Edwin Pos, Juan Ernesto Guevara, Jean François Molino, Daniel Sabatier, Olaf S. Bánki, Nigel C.A. Pitman, Hugo F. Mogollón, Roosevelt García-Villacorta, David Neill, Oliver L. Phillips, Carlos Cerón, Marcos Ríos Paredes, Percy Núñez Vargas, Nállarett Dávila, Anthony Di Fiore, Gonzalo Rivas-Torres, Raquel Thomas-Caesar, Corine Vriesendorp, Kenneth R. Young, Milton Tirado & 9 others Ophelia Wang, Rodrigo Sierra, Italo Mesones, Roderick Zagt, Rodolfo Vasquez, Manuel A. Ahuite Reategui, Walter Palacios Cuenca, Elvis H. Valderrama Sandoval, Hans ter Steege

Research output: Contribution to JournalLetterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Neutral models are often used as null models, testing the relative importance of niche versus neutral processes in shaping diversity. Most versions, however, focus only on regional scale predictions and neglect local level contributions. Recently, a new formulation of spatial neutral theory was published showing an incompatibility between regional and local scale fits where especially the number of rare species was dramatically under-predicted. Using a forward in time semi-spatially explicit neutral model and a unique large-scale Amazonian tree inventory data set, we show that neutral theory not only underestimates the number of rare species but also fails in predicting the excessive dominance of species on both regional and local levels. We show that although there are clear relationships between species composition, spatial and environmental distances, there is also a clear differentiation between species able to attain dominance with and without restriction to specific habitats. We conclude therefore that the apparent dominance of these species is real, and that their excessive abundance can be attributed to fitness differences in different ways, a clear violation of the ecological equivalence assumption of neutral theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1072-1082
Number of pages11
JournalEcology Letters
Volume22
Issue number7
Early online date2 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Amazon
  • betadiversity
  • neutral theory
  • species composition

Cite this

Pos, Edwin ; Guevara, Juan Ernesto ; Molino, Jean François ; Sabatier, Daniel ; Bánki, Olaf S. ; Pitman, Nigel C.A. ; Mogollón, Hugo F. ; García-Villacorta, Roosevelt ; Neill, David ; Phillips, Oliver L. ; Cerón, Carlos ; Ríos Paredes, Marcos ; Núñez Vargas, Percy ; Dávila, Nállarett ; Fiore, Anthony Di ; Rivas-Torres, Gonzalo ; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel ; Vriesendorp, Corine ; Young, Kenneth R. ; Tirado, Milton ; Wang, Ophelia ; Sierra, Rodrigo ; Mesones, Italo ; Zagt, Roderick ; Vasquez, Rodolfo ; Ahuite Reategui, Manuel A. ; Palacios Cuenca, Walter ; Valderrama Sandoval, Elvis H. ; ter Steege, Hans. / Scaling issues of neutral theory reveal violations of ecological equivalence for dominant Amazonian tree species. In: Ecology Letters. 2019 ; Vol. 22, No. 7. pp. 1072-1082.
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abstract = "Neutral models are often used as null models, testing the relative importance of niche versus neutral processes in shaping diversity. Most versions, however, focus only on regional scale predictions and neglect local level contributions. Recently, a new formulation of spatial neutral theory was published showing an incompatibility between regional and local scale fits where especially the number of rare species was dramatically under-predicted. Using a forward in time semi-spatially explicit neutral model and a unique large-scale Amazonian tree inventory data set, we show that neutral theory not only underestimates the number of rare species but also fails in predicting the excessive dominance of species on both regional and local levels. We show that although there are clear relationships between species composition, spatial and environmental distances, there is also a clear differentiation between species able to attain dominance with and without restriction to specific habitats. We conclude therefore that the apparent dominance of these species is real, and that their excessive abundance can be attributed to fitness differences in different ways, a clear violation of the ecological equivalence assumption of neutral theory.",
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year = "2019",
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Pos, E, Guevara, JE, Molino, JF, Sabatier, D, Bánki, OS, Pitman, NCA, Mogollón, HF, García-Villacorta, R, Neill, D, Phillips, OL, Cerón, C, Ríos Paredes, M, Núñez Vargas, P, Dávila, N, Fiore, AD, Rivas-Torres, G, Thomas-Caesar, R, Vriesendorp, C, Young, KR, Tirado, M, Wang, O, Sierra, R, Mesones, I, Zagt, R, Vasquez, R, Ahuite Reategui, MA, Palacios Cuenca, W, Valderrama Sandoval, EH & ter Steege, H 2019, 'Scaling issues of neutral theory reveal violations of ecological equivalence for dominant Amazonian tree species' Ecology Letters, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 1072-1082. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13264, https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13264

Scaling issues of neutral theory reveal violations of ecological equivalence for dominant Amazonian tree species. / Pos, Edwin; Guevara, Juan Ernesto; Molino, Jean François; Sabatier, Daniel; Bánki, Olaf S.; Pitman, Nigel C.A.; Mogollón, Hugo F.; García-Villacorta, Roosevelt; Neill, David; Phillips, Oliver L.; Cerón, Carlos; Ríos Paredes, Marcos; Núñez Vargas, Percy; Dávila, Nállarett; Fiore, Anthony Di; Rivas-Torres, Gonzalo; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; Vriesendorp, Corine; Young, Kenneth R.; Tirado, Milton; Wang, Ophelia; Sierra, Rodrigo; Mesones, Italo; Zagt, Roderick; Vasquez, Rodolfo; Ahuite Reategui, Manuel A.; Palacios Cuenca, Walter; Valderrama Sandoval, Elvis H.; ter Steege, Hans.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 22, No. 7, 07.2019, p. 1072-1082.

Research output: Contribution to JournalLetterAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Scaling issues of neutral theory reveal violations of ecological equivalence for dominant Amazonian tree species

AU - Pos, Edwin

AU - Guevara, Juan Ernesto

AU - Molino, Jean François

AU - Sabatier, Daniel

AU - Bánki, Olaf S.

AU - Pitman, Nigel C.A.

AU - Mogollón, Hugo F.

AU - García-Villacorta, Roosevelt

AU - Neill, David

AU - Phillips, Oliver L.

AU - Cerón, Carlos

AU - Ríos Paredes, Marcos

AU - Núñez Vargas, Percy

AU - Dávila, Nállarett

AU - Fiore, Anthony Di

AU - Rivas-Torres, Gonzalo

AU - Thomas-Caesar, Raquel

AU - Vriesendorp, Corine

AU - Young, Kenneth R.

AU - Tirado, Milton

AU - Wang, Ophelia

AU - Sierra, Rodrigo

AU - Mesones, Italo

AU - Zagt, Roderick

AU - Vasquez, Rodolfo

AU - Ahuite Reategui, Manuel A.

AU - Palacios Cuenca, Walter

AU - Valderrama Sandoval, Elvis H.

AU - ter Steege, Hans

PY - 2019/7

Y1 - 2019/7

N2 - Neutral models are often used as null models, testing the relative importance of niche versus neutral processes in shaping diversity. Most versions, however, focus only on regional scale predictions and neglect local level contributions. Recently, a new formulation of spatial neutral theory was published showing an incompatibility between regional and local scale fits where especially the number of rare species was dramatically under-predicted. Using a forward in time semi-spatially explicit neutral model and a unique large-scale Amazonian tree inventory data set, we show that neutral theory not only underestimates the number of rare species but also fails in predicting the excessive dominance of species on both regional and local levels. We show that although there are clear relationships between species composition, spatial and environmental distances, there is also a clear differentiation between species able to attain dominance with and without restriction to specific habitats. We conclude therefore that the apparent dominance of these species is real, and that their excessive abundance can be attributed to fitness differences in different ways, a clear violation of the ecological equivalence assumption of neutral theory.

AB - Neutral models are often used as null models, testing the relative importance of niche versus neutral processes in shaping diversity. Most versions, however, focus only on regional scale predictions and neglect local level contributions. Recently, a new formulation of spatial neutral theory was published showing an incompatibility between regional and local scale fits where especially the number of rare species was dramatically under-predicted. Using a forward in time semi-spatially explicit neutral model and a unique large-scale Amazonian tree inventory data set, we show that neutral theory not only underestimates the number of rare species but also fails in predicting the excessive dominance of species on both regional and local levels. We show that although there are clear relationships between species composition, spatial and environmental distances, there is also a clear differentiation between species able to attain dominance with and without restriction to specific habitats. We conclude therefore that the apparent dominance of these species is real, and that their excessive abundance can be attributed to fitness differences in different ways, a clear violation of the ecological equivalence assumption of neutral theory.

KW - Amazon

KW - betadiversity

KW - neutral theory

KW - species composition

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U2 - 10.1111/ele.13264

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JF - Ecology Letters

SN - 1461-023X

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