Tropical tree assembly depends on the interactions between successional and soil filtering processes

Rejou-Mechain Maxime, Flores Olivier, Pélissier Raphaël, Fayolle Adeline, Fauvet Nicolas, Gourlet-Fleury Sylvie. 2014. Tropical tree assembly depends on the interactions between successional and soil filtering processes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23 (12) : pp. 1440-1449.

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Quartile : Outlier, Sujet : GEOGRAPHY, PHYSICAL / Quartile : Q1, Sujet : ECOLOGY

Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Géographie-Aménagement-Urbanisme-Architecture

Abstract : Aim: Successional and soil filtering processes are key drivers of the assembly of tropical tree communities, yet little is known about how they interact. Herein, we determine whether successional pathways depend on soil type, how the soil filtering effect varies during forest succession and whether succession is accompanied by changes in trait composition. Location: South‐western Central African Republic. Methods : We used inventory data on 90 dominant tree species (72% of the stems ≥ 30 cm d.b.h.) in 15,420 plots (each 0.5 ha) distributed over an 8300‐km2 mosaic of primary and secondary forests on contrasting clay and sandy soils. We gathered data on six traits: dispersal mode, nitrogen fixation, deciduousness, leaf area, wood density and maximum diameter. After validation with historical information, we used a successional index based on pioneer proportion to assess variations in trait composition, and in α‐ and β‐diversity, in forest succession, and within and between soil types. Results: Taxonomic and functional dissimilarities between clay and sandy soils decreased continuously during forest succession. Within soil types, early‐successional communities had a low taxonomic but relatively high functional α‐diversity. At the landscape scale, β‐diversity was higher among earlier successional stages, except in rich soils where taxonomic β‐diversity was high throughout the succession. Mean values for all traits, except leaf area, showed marked variations during forest succession in both soil types. Main conclusions: The effect of soil type on community composition declines during succession, suggesting that the relative importance of neutral processes is higher in mature forests. Successional pathways were fairly similar in both soil types: disturbances reduced taxonomic diversity locally and enhanced β‐diversity between sites, probably because the disturbances varied in type. We also demonstrated how easy‐to‐collect traits help improve predictions of ecological patterns and deepen our understanding of species assembly processes.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : forêt tropicale, Forêt, Arbre forestier, Facteur édaphique, Texture du sol, Filtration, Sol argileux, Sol sableux, Croissance, Fixation de l'azote, Bois, Densité, Composition botanique, Biogéographie, Écosystème forestier, Taxonomie, Surface foliaire, Inventaire forestier

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : République centrafricaine

Mots-clés complémentaires : Densité du bois

Classification Agris : K01 - Forestry - General aspects
P33 - Soil chemistry and physics
F40 - Plant ecology
F70 - Plant taxonomy and geography
F62 - Plant physiology - Growth and development
F61 - Plant physiology - Nutrition

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2014-2018) - Sociétés, natures et territoires

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Rejou-Mechain Maxime, CNRS (FRA)
  • Flores Olivier, Université de la Réunion (REU)
  • Pélissier Raphaël, IRD (FRA)
  • Fayolle Adeline, CNRS (FRA)
  • Fauvet Nicolas, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (FRA)
  • Gourlet-Fleury Sylvie, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-1136-4307

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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