Woody plant taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity decrease along elevational gradients in Andean tropical montane forests: Environmental filtering and arrival of temperate taxa

Guillermo Bañares-de-Dios, Manuel J. Macía, Gabriel Arellano, Íñigo Granzow-de la Cerda, Julia Vega-Álvarez, Itziar Arnelas, Carlos I. Espinosa, Norma Salinas, Luis Cayuela

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Resumen

Mountains are paramount for exploring biodiversity patterns due to the mosaic of topographies and climates encompassed over short distances. Biodiversity research has traditionally focused on taxonomic diversity when investigating changes along elevational gradients, but other facets should be considered. For first time, we simultaneously assessed elevational trends in taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity of woody plants in Andean tropical montane forests and explored their underlying ecological and evolutionary causes. This investigation covered four transects (traversing ca. 2200 m a.s.l.) encompassing 114 plots of 0.1 ha across a broad latitudinal range (ca. 10°). Using Hill numbers to quantify abundance-based diversity among 37,869 individuals we observed a consistent decrease in taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity as elevation increased, although the decrease was less pronounced for higher Hill orders. The exception was a slight increase in phylogenetic diversity when dominant species were over-weighted. The decrease in taxonomic and functional diversity might be attributed to an environmental filtering process towards highlands, where the increasingly harsher conditions exclude species and functional strategies. Besides, the differences in steepness decrease between Hill orders suggest that rare species disproportionately contribute to functional diversity. For phylogenetic diversity the shifting elevational trend between Hill orders indicates a greater than previously considered influence in central Andean highlands of tropical lowlands originated species with strong niche conservatism relative to distantly related temperate lineages. This could be explained by a decreasing presence and abundance of temperate, extratropical taxa towards the central Andes relative to northern or southern Andes, where they are more prevalent.

Idioma originalInglés
PublicaciónPlant Diversity
DOI
EstadoAceptada/en prensa - 2024

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