Local hydrological conditions influence tree diversity and composition across the Amazon basin

Manuel J. Marca-Zevallos, Gabriel M. Moulatlet, Thaiane R. Sousa, Juliana Schietti, Luiz de Souza Coelho, José Ferreira Ramos, Diogenes de Andrade Lima Filho, Iêda Leão Amaral, Francisca Dionízia de Almeida Matos, Lorena M. Rincón, Juan David Cardenas Revilla, Marcelo Petratti Pansonato, Rogério Gribel, Edelcilio Marques Barbosa, Ires Paula de Andrade Miranda, Luiz Carlos de Matos Bonates, Juan Ernesto Guevara, Rafael P. Salomão, Leandro Valle Ferreira, Dário Dantas do AmaralNigel C.A. Pitman, Corine Vriesendorp, Tim R. Baker, Roel Brienen, Marcelo de Jesus Veiga Carim, José Renan da Silva Guimarães, Percy Núñez Vargas, Isau Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, William F. Laurance, Susan G.W. Laurance, Ana Andrade, José Luís Camargo, Abel Monteagudo Mendoza, Rodolfo Vasquez, Luis Valenzuela Gamarra, Hugo F. Mogollón, Ben Hur Marimon-Junior, Beatriz S. Marimon, Timothy J. Killeen, Emanuelle de Sousa Farias, David Neill, Marcelo Brilhante de Medeiros, Marcelo Fragomeni Simon, John Terborgh, Juan Carlos Montero, Juan Carlos Licona, Bonifacio Mostacedo, Roosevelt García-Villacorta, Alejandro Araujo-Murakami, Luzmila Arroyo, Daniel Villarroel, Nállarett Dávila, Fernanda Coelho de Souza, Fernanda Antunes Carvalho, James A. Comiskey, Alfonso Alonso, Francisco Dallmeier, Alexandre A. Oliveira, Carolina V. Castilho, Jon Lloyd, Ted R. Feldpausch, Marcos Ríos Paredes, Nicolás Castaño Arboleda, Dairon Cárdenas López, Gerardo A. Aymard Corredor, Anthony Di Fiore, Agustín Rudas, Adriana Prieto, Flávia Rodrigues Barbosa, Janaína Costa Noronha, Domingos de Jesus Rodrigues, Rainiellen de Sá Carpanedo, Eurídice N. Honorio Coronado, Carlos A. Peres, William Milliken, Alfredo Fuentes, J. Sebastián Tello, Carlos Cerón, Bente Klitgaard, Milton Tirado, Rodrigo Sierra, Kenneth R. Young, Gonzalo Francisco Rivas-Torres, Pablo R. Stevenson, Angela Cano, Ophelia Wang, Cláudia Baider, Jos Barlow, Joice Ferreira, Erika Berenguer, Juliana Stropp, Henrik Balslev, Manuel Augusto Ahuite Reategui, Italo Mesones, Elvis H. Valderrama Sandoval, Therany Gonzales, Susamar Pansini, Neidiane Farias Costa Reis, Adeilza Felipe Sampaio, Vincent Antoine Vos, Walter Palacios Cuenca, Angelo Gilberto Manzatto, William Farfan-Rios, Miles R. Silman, Karina Garcia-Cabrera, Patricio von Hildebrand, Marcelino Carneiro Guedes, Janaina Barbosa Pedrosa Costa, Juan Fernando Phillips, César I.A. Vela, José Julio de Toledo, Daniela Pauletto, Fernando Cornejo Valverde, Maria Natalia Umaña, Oliver L. Phillips, William E. Magnusson, Hans ter Steege, Flávia R.C. Costa

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Abstract

Tree diversity and composition in Amazonia are known to be strongly determined by the water supplied by precipitation. Nevertheless, within the same climatic regime, water availability is modulated by local topography and soil characteristics (hereafter referred to as local hydrological conditions), varying from saturated and poorly drained to well-drained and potentially dry areas. While these conditions may be expected to influence species distribution, the impacts of local hydrological conditions on tree diversity and composition remain poorly understood at the whole Amazon basin scale. Using a dataset of 443 1-ha non-flooded forest plots distributed across the basin, we investigate how local hydrological conditions influence 1) tree alpha diversity, 2) the community-weighted wood density mean (CWM-wd) – a proxy for hydraulic resistance and 3) tree species composition. We find that the effect of local hydrological conditions on tree diversity depends on climate, being more evident in wetter forests, where diversity increases towards locations with well-drained soils. CWM-wd increased towards better drained soils in Southern and Western Amazonia. Tree species composition changed along local soil hydrological gradients in Central-Eastern, Western and Southern Amazonia, and those changes were correlated with changes in the mean wood density of plots. Our results suggest that local hydrological gradients filter species, influencing the diversity and composition of Amazonian forests. Overall, this study shows that the effect of local hydrological conditions is pervasive, extending over wide Amazonian regions, and reinforces the importance of accounting for local topography and hydrology to better understand the likely response and resilience of forests to increased frequency of extreme climate events and rising temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere06125
JournalEcography
Volume2022
Issue number11
Early online date13 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Amazon basin
  • HAND
  • species composition
  • tree diversity
  • wood density

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