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  1. Bellingham, Peter (Ed.)
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. Understanding tropical forest dynamics and planning for their sustainable management require efficient, yet accurate, predictions of the joint dynamics of hundreds of tree species. With increasing information on tropical tree life histories, our predictive understanding is no longer limited by species data but by the ability of existing models to make use of it. Using a demographic forest model, we show that the basal area and compositional changes during forest succession in a neotropical forest can be accurately predicted by representing tropical tree diversity (hundreds of species) with only five functional groups spanning two essential trade-offs—the growth-survival and stature-recruitment trade-offs. This data-driven modeling framework substantially improves our ability to predict consequences of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests.
  5. The Janzen–Connell hypothesis is a well-known explanation for why tropical forests have large numbers of tree species. A fundamental prediction of the hypothesis is that the probability of adult recruitment is less in regions of high conspecific adult density, a pattern mediated by density-dependent mortality in juvenile life stages. Although there is strong evidence in many tree species that seeds, seedlings, and saplings suffer conspecific density-dependent mortality, no study has shown that adult tree recruitment is negatively density dependent. Density-dependent adult recruitment is necessary for the Janzen–Connell mechanism to regulate tree populations. Here, we report density-dependent adult recruitment in the population ofHandroanthus guayacan, a wind-dispersed Neotropical canopy tree species. We use data from high-resolution remote sensing to track individual trees with proven capacity to flower in a lowland moist forest landscape in Panama and analyze these data in a Bayesian framework similar to capture–recapture analysis. We independently quantify probabilities of adult tree recruitment and detection and show that adult recruitment is negatively density dependent. The annualized probability of adult recruitment was 3.03% ⋅ year−1. Despite the detection of negative density dependence in adult recruitment, it was insufficient to stabilize the adult population ofH. guayacan, which increased significantly in size overmore »the decade of observation.

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  6. Abstract Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EcM) associations are critical for host-tree performance. However, how mycorrhizal associations correlate with the latitudinal tree beta-diversity remains untested. Using a global dataset of 45 forest plots representing 2,804,270 trees across 3840 species, we test how AM and EcM trees contribute to total beta-diversity and its components (turnover and nestedness) of all trees. We find AM rather than EcM trees predominantly contribute to decreasing total beta-diversity and turnover and increasing nestedness with increasing latitude, probably because wide distributions of EcM trees do not generate strong compositional differences among localities. Environmental variables, especially temperature and precipitation, are strongly correlated with beta-diversity patterns for both AM trees and all trees rather than EcM trees. Results support our hypotheses that latitudinal beta-diversity patterns and environmental effects on these patterns are highly dependent on mycorrhizal types. Our findings highlight the importance of AM-dominated forests for conserving global forest biodiversity.