A branch from the tree Virola multiflora in the canopy of the Bosque Protector San Lorenzo in Panama. This branch was accessed via a ~50 m tall canopy crane operated by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). Credit José A. Medina-Vega.

Lianas explore the forest canopy more effectively than trees under drier conditions

José A. Medina-Vega, Frans Bongers, Stefan A. Schnitzer and Frank J. Sterck Lianas (woody vines) play a vital role in the dynamics of tropical forests. Lianas compete intensely with trees for above (i.e. light) and below-ground (i.e. water and nutrients) resources and reduce the regeneration, growth, reproduction and survival of trees. The most prominent difference between lianas and trees is that lianas do not invest … Continue reading Lianas explore the forest canopy more effectively than trees under drier conditions

Rare forest species possess larger within-species trait variation and smaller environmental ranges

Xiangcheng Mi, Zhenghua Sun, Yunfeng Song, Xiaojuan Liu, Jie Yang, Junjie Wu, Xiuqin Ci, Jie Li, Luxiang Lin, Min Cao, Keping Ma One of the most ubiquitous patterns in community ecology is that the majority of species in local communities are rare. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this pattern has challenged ecologists for decades. The niche partitioning hypothesis proposes that rare species use spatially limited and … Continue reading Rare forest species possess larger within-species trait variation and smaller environmental ranges