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Does Herbivory influence tree distribution patterns along a rainfall gradient?

Julian Gaviria1
1 University of Bayreuth

P 2.3 in Biodiversity: Patterns, Function and Protection


Tropical forests are among the most diverse communities in the world. Although many studies regarding biodiversity have been conducted, still little is known about the causes of contrasting species distribution patterns, which lead to the high diversity. These patterns are shaped by abiotic and biotic factors which may interact with each other excluding plant species from regions where they could exist. Although there have been some studies on herbivory along rainfall gradients, no definitive proof has been found that herbivory may shape tree species distribution. However, none of it has looked at the effect of herbivory on the seed- to- seedling transition and early seedling stage. In this study, I try to answer the question if herbivory acts as a filter at the very first plant development stages restricting tree species distribution along a rainfall gradient.

last modified 2012-09-13