Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01552.x
Title (Primary) Response of recruitment to light availability across a tropical lowland rainforest community
Author Rüger, N.; Huth, A.; Hubbell, S.P.; Condit, R.
Journal Journal of Ecology
Year 2009
Department OESA
Volume 97
Issue 6
Page From 1360
Page To 1368
Language englisch
Keywords Barro Colorado Island; hierarchical Bayesian model; life-history traits; light requirements; niche partitioning; Panama; regeneration niche; shade tolerance; tropical rainforest
Abstract 1. Many hypotheses about species coexistence involve differential resource use and trade-offs in species' life-history traits. Quantifying resource use across most species in diverse communities, although, has seldombeen attempted.2. We use a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify the light dependence of recruitment in 263 woody species in a 50-ha long-term forest census plot in Panama. Data on sapling recruitment were obtained using the 1985-1990 and 1990-1995 census intervals. Available light was estimated for each recruit from yearly censuses of canopy density.3. We use a power function (linear log-log relationship) to model the light effect on recruitment. Different responses of recruitment to light are expressed by the light effect parameter b. The distribution of b had a central mode at 0.8, suggesting that recruitment of many species responds nearly linearly to increasing light.4. Nearly every species showed increases in recruitment with increasing light. Just nine species (3%) had recruitment declining with light, while 198 species (75%) showed increasing recruitment in both census intervals. Most of the increases in recruitment were decelerating, i.e. the increase was less at higher light (b < 1). In the remaining species, the response to light varied between census intervals (24 species) or species did not have recruits in both intervals (41 species).5. Synthesis. Nearly all species regenerate better in higher light, and recruitment responses to light are spread along a continuum ranging from modest increase with light to a rather strict requirement for high light. These results support the hypothesis that spatio-temporal variation in light availability may contribute to the diversity of tropical tree species by providing opportunities for niche differentiation with respect to light requirements for regeneration.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Rüger, N., Huth, A., Hubbell, S.P., Condit, R. (2009):
Response of recruitment to light availability across a tropical lowland rainforest community
J. Ecol. 97 (6), 1360 - 1368