Consistent patterns of common species across tropical tree communities

Declan L.M. Cooper, Simon L. Lewis, Martin J.P. Sullivan, Paulo I. Prado, Hans ter Steege, Nicolas Barbier, Ferry Slik, Bonaventure Sonké, Corneille E.N. Ewango, Stephen Adu-Bredu, Kofi Affum-Baffoe, Daniel P.P. de Aguiar, Manuel Augusto Ahuite Reategui, Shin Ichiro Aiba, Bianca Weiss Albuquerque, Francisca Dionízia de Almeida Matos, Alfonso Alonso, Christian A. Amani, Dário Dantas do Amaral, Iêda Leão do AmaralAna Andrade, Ires Paula de Andrade Miranda, Ilondea B. Angoboy, Alejandro Araujo-Murakami, Nicolás Castaño Arboleda, Luzmila Arroyo, Peter Ashton, Gerardo A. Aymard C, Cláudia Baider, Timothy R. Baker, Michael Philippe Bessike Balinga, Henrik Balslev, Lindsay F. Banin, Olaf S. Bánki, Chris Baraloto, Edelcilio Marques Barbosa, Flávia Rodrigues Barbosa, Jos Barlow, Jean Francois Bastin, Hans Beeckman, Serge Begne, Natacha Nssi Bengone, Erika Berenguer, Nicholas Berry, Robert Bitariho, Pascal Boeckx, Jan Bogaert, Bernard Bonyoma, Patrick Boundja, Nils Bourland, Faustin Boyemba Bosela, Fabian Brambach, Roel Brienen, David F.R.P. Burslem, José Luís Camargo, Wegliane Campelo, Angela Cano, Sasha Cárdenas, Dairon Cárdenas López, Rainiellen de Sá Carpanedo, Yrma Andreina Carrero Márquez, Fernanda Antunes Carvalho, Luisa Fernanda Casas, Hernán Castellanos, Carolina V. Castilho, Carlos Cerón, Colin A. Chapman, Jerome Chave, Phourin Chhang, Wanlop Chutipong, George B. Chuyong, Bruno Barçante Ladvocat Cintra, Connie J. Clark, Fernanda Coelho de Souza, James A. Comiskey, David A. Coomes, Fernando Cornejo Valverde, Diego F. Correa, Flávia R.C. Costa, Janaina Barbosa Pedrosa Costa, Pierre Couteron, Heike Culmsee, Aida Cuni-Sanchez, Francisco Dallmeier, Gabriel Damasco, Gilles Dauby, Nállarett Dávila, Hilda Paulette Dávila Doza, Jose Don T. De Alban, Rafael L. de Assis, Charles De Canniere, Thales De Haulleville, Marcelo de Jesus Veiga Carim, Layon O. Demarchi, Kyle G. Dexter, Anthony Di Fiore, Hazimah Haji Mohammad Din, Mathias I. Disney, Brice Yannick Djiofack, Marie Noël K. Djuikouo, Tran Van Do, Jean Louis Doucet, Freddie C. Draper, Vincent Droissart, Joost F. Duivenvoorden, Julien Engel, Vittoria Estienne, William Farfan-Rios, Sophie Fauset, Kenneth J. Feeley, Yuri Oliveira Feitosa, Ted R. Feldpausch, Cid Ferreira, Joice Ferreira, Leandro Valle Ferreira, Christine D. Fletcher, Bernardo Monteiro Flores, Alusine Fofanah, Ernest G. Foli, Émile Fonty, Gabriella M. Fredriksson, Alfredo Fuentes, David Galbraith, George Pepe Gallardo Gonzales, Karina Garcia-Cabrera, Roosevelt García-Villacorta, Vitor H.F. Gomes, Ricardo Zárate Gómez, Therany Gonzales, Rogerio Gribel, Marcelino Carneiro Guedes, Juan Ernesto Guevara, Khalid Rehman Hakeem, Jefferson S. Hall, Keith C. Hamer, Alan C. Hamilton, David J. Harris, Rhett D. Harrison, Terese B. Hart, Andy Hector, Terry W. Henkel, John Herbohn, Mireille B.N. Hockemba, Bruce Hoffman, Milena Holmgren, Euridice N. Honorio Coronado, Isau Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Wannes Hubau, Nobuo Imai, Mariana Victória Irume, Patrick A. Jansen, Kathryn J. Jeffery, Eliana M. Jimenez, Tommaso Jucker, André Braga Junqueira, Michelle Kalamandeen, Narcisse G. Kamdem, Kuswata Kartawinata, Emmanuel Kasongo Yakusu, John M. Katembo, Elizabeth Kearsley, David Kenfack, Michael Kessler, Thiri Toe Khaing, Timothy J. Killeen, Kanehiro Kitayama, Bente Klitgaard, Nicolas Labrière, Yves Laumonier, Susan G.W. Laurance, William F. Laurance, Félix Laurent, Tinh Cong Le, Trai Trong Le, Miguel E. Leal, Evlyn Márcia Leão de Moraes Novo, Aurora Levesley, Moses B. Libalah, Juan Carlos Licona, Diógenes de Andrade Lima Filho, Jeremy A. Lindsell, Aline Lopes, Maria Aparecida Lopes, Jon C. Lovett, Richard Lowe, José Rafael Lozada, Xinghui Lu, Nestor K. Luambua, Bruno Garcia Luize, Paul Maas, José Leonardo Lima Magalhães, William E. Magnusson, Ni Putu Diana Mahayani, Jean Remy Makana, Yadvinder Malhi, Lorena Maniguaje Rincón, Asyraf Mansor, Angelo Gilberto Manzatto, Beatriz S. Marimon, Ben Hur Marimon-Junior, Andrew R. Marshall, Maria Pires Martins, Faustin M. Mbayu, Marcelo Brilhante de Medeiros, Italo Mesones, Faizah Metali, Vianet Mihindou, Jerome Millet, William Milliken, Hugo F. Mogollón, Jean François Molino, Mohd Nizam Mohd. Said, Abel Monteagudo Mendoza, Juan Carlos Montero, Sam Moore, Bonifacio Mostacedo, Linder Felipe Mozombite Pinto, Sharif Ahmed Mukul, Pantaleo K.T. Munishi, Hidetoshi Nagamasu, Henrique Eduardo Mendonça Nascimento, Marcelo Trindade Nascimento, David Neill, Reuben Nilus, Janaína Costa Noronha, Laurent Nsenga, Percy Núñez Vargas, Lucas Ojo, Alexandre A. Oliveira, Edmar Almeida de Oliveira, Fidèle Evouna Ondo, Walter Palacios Cuenca, Susamar Pansini, Marcelo Petratti Pansonato, Marcos Ríos Paredes, Ekananda Paudel, Daniela Pauletto, Richard G. Pearson, José Luis Marcelo Pena, R. Toby Pennington, Carlos A. Peres, Andrea Permana, Pascal Petronelli, Maria Cristina Peñuela Mora, Juan Fernando Phillips, Oliver L. Phillips, Georgia Pickavance, Maria Teresa Fernandez Piedade, Nigel C.A. Pitman, Pierre Ploton, Andreas Popelier, John R. Poulsen, Adriana Prieto, Richard B. Primack, Hari Priyadi, Lan Qie, Adriano Costa Quaresma, Helder Lima de Queiroz, Hirma Ramirez-Angulo, José Ferreira Ramos, Neidiane Farias Costa Reis, Jan Reitsma, Juan David Cardenas Revilla, Terhi Riutta, Gonzalo Rivas-Torres, Iyan Robiansyah, Maira Rocha, Domingos de Jesus Rodrigues, M. Elizabeth Rodriguez-Ronderos, Francesco Rovero, Andes H. Rozak, Agustín Rudas, Ervan Rutishauser, Daniel Sabatier, Le Bienfaiteur Sagang, Adeilza Felipe Sampaio, Ismayadi Samsoedin, Manichanh Satdichanh, Juliana Schietti, Jochen Schöngart, Veridiana Vizoni Scudeller, Naret Seuaturien, Douglas Sheil, Rodrigo Sierra, Miles R. Silman, Thiago Sanna Freire Silva, José Renan da Silva Guimarães, Murielle Simo-Droissart, Marcelo Fragomeni Simon, Plinio Sist, Thaiane R. Sousa, Emanuelle de Sousa Farias, Luiz de Souza Coelho, Dominick V. Spracklen, Suzanne M. Stas, Robert Steinmetz, Pablo R. Stevenson, Juliana Stropp, Rahayu S. Sukri, Terry C.H. Sunderland, Eizi Suzuki, Michael D. Swaine, Jianwei Tang, James Taplin, David M. Taylor, J. Sebastián Tello, John Terborgh, Nicolas Texier, Ida Theilade, Duncan W. Thomas, Raquel Thomas, Sean C. Thomas, Milton Tirado, Benjamin Toirambe, José Julio de Toledo, Kyle W. Tomlinson, Armando Torres-Lezama, Hieu Dang Tran, John Tshibamba Mukendi, Roven D. Tumaneng, Maria Natalia Umaña, Peter M. Umunay, Ligia Estela Urrego Giraldo, Elvis H. Valderrama Sandoval, Luis Valenzuela Gamarra, Tinde R. Van Andel, Martin van de Bult, Jaqueline van de Pol, Geertje van der Heijden, Rodolfo Vasquez, César I.A. Vela, Eduardo Martins Venticinque, Hans Verbeeck, Rizza Karen A. Veridiano, Alberto Vicentini, Ima Célia Guimarães Vieira, Emilio Vilanova Torre, Daniel Villarroel, Boris Eduardo Villa Zegarra, Jason Vleminckx, Patricio von Hildebrand, Vincent Antoine Vos, Corine Vriesendorp, Edward L. Webb, Lee J.T. White, Serge Wich, Florian Wittmann, Roderick Zagt, Runguo Zang, Charles Eugene Zartman, Lise Zemagho, Egleé L. Zent, Stanford Zent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trees structure the Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystem, tropical forests. The vast number of tree species presents a formidable challenge to understanding these forests, including their response to environmental change, as very little is known about most tropical tree species. A focus on the common species may circumvent this challenge. Here we investigate abundance patterns of common tree species using inventory data on 1,003,805 trees with trunk diameters of at least 10 cm across 1,568 locations 1–6 in closed-canopy, structurally intact old-growth tropical forests in Africa, Amazonia and Southeast Asia. We estimate that 2.2%, 2.2% and 2.3% of species comprise 50% of the tropical trees in these regions, respectively. Extrapolating across all closed-canopy tropical forests, we estimate that just 1,053 species comprise half of Earth’s 800 billion tropical trees with trunk diameters of at least 10 cm. Despite differing biogeographic, climatic and anthropogenic histories 7, we find notably consistent patterns of common species and species abundance distributions across the continents. This suggests that fundamental mechanisms of tree community assembly may apply to all tropical forests. Resampling analyses show that the most common species are likely to belong to a manageable list of known species, enabling targeted efforts to understand their ecology. Although they do not detract from the importance of rare species, our results open new opportunities to understand the world’s most diverse forests, including modelling their response to environmental change, by focusing on the common species that constitute the majority of their trees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-734
Number of pages7
JournalNature
Volume625
Issue number7996
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 25 2024

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