Species-time-area and phylogenetic-time-area relationships in tropical tree communities
Article first published online: 15 MAR 2013
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Ecology and Evolution
Volume 3, Issue 5, pages 1173–1183, May 2013
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2013; 3(5):1173–1183.
- Issue published online: 10 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 15 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 12 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 14 OCT 2012
- Michigan State University
- Center for Tropical Forest Science Research
- U.S. National Science Foundation
- University of Puerto Rico
- International Institute of Tropical Forestry
- Andrew Mellon Foundation
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- Community ecology;
- phylogenetic diversity;
- species-time-area relationship
The species-area relationship (SAR) has proven to be one of the few strong generalities in ecology. The temporal analog of the SAR, the species-time relationship (STR), has received considerably less attention. Recent work primarily from the temperate zone has aimed to merge the SAR and the STR into a synthetic and unified species-time-area relationship (STAR) as originally envisioned by Preston (1960). Here we test this framework using two tropical tree communities and extend it by deriving a phylogenetic-time-area relationship (PTAR). The work finds some support for Preston's prediction that diversity-time relationships, both species and phylogenetic, are sensitive to the spatial scale of the sampling. Contrary to the Preston's predictions we find a decoupling of diversity-area and diversity-time relationships in both forests as the time period used to quantify the diversity-area relationship changes. In particular, diversity-area and diversity-time relationships are positively correlated using the initial census to quantify the diversity-area relationship, but weakly or even negatively correlated when using the most recent census. Thus, diversity-area relationships could forecast the temporal accumulation of biodiversity of the forests, but they failed to “back-cast” the temporal accumulation of biodiversity suggesting a decoupling of space and time.