Shade tolerance, fruiting phenology and Janzen-Connell effects in Amazonian palms

Differences in shade-tolerance and fruiting phenology life history traits may explain variation in the strength of Janzen-Connell effects across whole communities.
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The Janzen-Connell (JC) hypothesis proposes that individual plants of the same tropical rainforest tree species are more likely to attract specialist natural enemies when they grow close together, thereby resulting in community-level diversity. Choo et al. study two Neotropical palm species (Astrocaryum murmuru and Attalea phalerata) using seed predation experiments and spatial analyses.

Amazon Palm
Amazon Palm

They show that variation in the strength of JC effects across life-stages is consistent with differences in shade-tolerance and fruiting phenology across species. The authors infer that differences in these life history traits may also help explain variation in the strength of JC effects across whole communities.

Reference

Choo, J., Carasco, C., Alvarez-Loayza, P., Simpson, B. B., & Economo, E. P. (2017). Life history traits influence the strength of distance- and density-dependence at different life stages of two Amazonian palms. Annals of Botany, 120(1), 147–158. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcx051


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