The Influence of Phylogenetic and Functional Similarity on Species Coexistence Through Space and Time
AuthorSwenson, Nathan Garrick
KeywordsEcology & Evolutionary Biology
AdvisorEnquist, Brian J.
Committee ChairEnquist, Brian J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe problem of species diversity and co-existence in hyper-diverse communities remains. Traditionally ecologists have approached this problem from examining patterns of co-occurrence, interaction matrices and abundance distributions. This work, while productive, generally has rarely explored the role of shared ancestry and species-specific quantitative function in promoting species diversity and co-existence. This has been a critical oversight as simply analyzing the list of Latin binomials in an assemblage ignores the relatedness between taxa as well as the diversity in organismal form and function--the very information relevant to evolutionary, ecological, and historical hypotheses about the distribution of diversity and community assembly. The following research is designed to investigate the role of phylogenetic and functional similarity on species diversity and co-existence through space and time in diverse tropical tree communities. Specifically, I investigate: (i) the role of phylogenetic relatedness in determining community structure from very local to large regional spatial scales; (ii) the role of phylogeny in determining the structure of tree communities at different strategraphic levels in the canopy; (iii) the power of recently developed phylogenetic analyses to detect non-random patterns of co-existence in communities when the phylogenetic tree used is not completely resolved; (iv) the role of functional similarity in promoting co-existence in a Neotropical dry forest through space and across body sizes; (v) whether decadal long trends in forest composition can be explained on the basis of species-specific function; and (vi) variability in a key functional trait across New World forest communities and along the Angiosperm phylogeny.
Degree ProgramEcology & Evolutionary Biology