The global abundance of tree palms

Robert Muscarella, Thaise Emilio, Oliver L. Phillips, Simon L. Lewis, Ferry Slik, William J. Baker, Thomas L.P. Couvreur, Wolf L. Eiserhardt, Jens Christian Svenning, Kofi Affum-Baffoe, Shin Ichiro Aiba, Everton C. de Almeida, Samuel S. de Almeida, Edmar Almeida de Oliveira, Esteban Álvarez-Dávila, Luciana F. Alves, Carlos Mariano Alvez-Valles, Fabrício Alvim Carvalho, Fernando Alzate Guarin, Ana AndradeLuis E.O.C. Aragão, Alejandro Araujo Murakami, Luzmila Arroyo, Peter S. Ashton, Gerardo A.Aymard Corredor, Timothy R. Baker, Plinio Barbosa de Camargo, Jos Barlow, Jean François Bastin, Natacha Nssi Bengone, Erika Berenguer, Nicholas Berry, Lilian Blanc, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Damien Bonal, Frans Bongers, Matt Bradford, Fabian Brambach, Francis Q. Brearley, Steven W. Brewer, Jose L.C. Camargo, David G. Campbell, Carolina V. Castilho, Wendeson Castro, Damien Catchpole, Carlos E. Cerón Martínez, Shengbin Chen, Phourin Chhang, Percival Cho, Wanlop Chutipong, Connie Clark, Murray Collins, James A. Comiskey, Massiel Nataly Corrales Medina, Flávia R.C. Costa, Heike Culmsee, Heriberto David-Higuita, Priya Davidar, Jhon del Aguila-Pasquel, Géraldine Derroire, Anthony Di Fiore, Tran Van Do, Jean Louis Doucet, Aurélie Dourdain, Donald R. Drake, Andreas Ensslin, Terry Erwin, Corneille E.N. Ewango, Robert M. Ewers, Sophie Fauset, Ted R. Feldpausch, Joice Ferreira, Leandro Valle Ferreira, Markus Fischer, Janet Franklin, Gabriella M. Fredriksson, Thomas W. Gillespie, Martin Gilpin, Christelle Gonmadje, Arachchige Upali Nimal Gunatilleke, Khalid Rehman Hakeem, Jefferson S. Hall, Keith C. Hamer, David J. Harris, Rhett D. Harrison, Andrew Hector, Andreas Hemp, Bruno Herault, Carlos Gabriel Hidalgo Pizango, Eurídice N.Honorio Coronado, Wannes Hubau, Mohammad Shah Hussain, Faridah Hanum Ibrahim, Nobuo Imai, Carlos A. Joly, Shijo Joseph, K. Anitha, Kuswata Kartawinata, Justin Kassi, Timothy J. Killeen, Kanehiro Kitayama, Bente Bang Klitgård, Robert Kooyman, Nicolas Labrière, Eileen Larney, Yves Laumonier, Susan G. Laurance, William F. Laurance, Michael J. Lawes, Aurora Levesley, Janvier Lisingo, Thomas Lovejoy, Jon C. Lovett, Xinghui Lu, Anne Mette Lykke, William E. Magnusson, Ni Putu Diana Mahayani, Yadvinder Malhi, Asyraf Mansor, Jose Luis Marcelo Peña, Ben H. Marimon-Junior, Andrew R. Marshall, Karina Melgaco, Casimiro Mendoza Bautista, Vianet Mihindou, Jérôme Millet, William Milliken, D. Mohandass, Abel Lorenzo Monteagudo Mendoza, Badru Mugerwa, Hidetoshi Nagamasu, Laszlo Nagy, Naret Seuaturien, Marcelo T. Nascimento, David A. Neill, Luiz Menini Neto, Rueben Nilus, Mario Percy Núñez Vargas, Eddy Nurtjahya, R. Nazaré O. de Araújo, Onrizal Onrizal, Walter A. Palacios, Sonia Palacios-Ramos, Marc Parren, Ekananda Paudel, Paulo S. Morandi, R. Toby Pennington, Georgia Pickavance, John J. Pipoly, Nigel C.A. Pitman, Erny Poedjirahajoe, Lourens Poorter, John R. Poulsen, P. Rama Chandra Prasad, Adriana Prieto, Jean Philippe Puyravaud, Lan Qie, Carlos A. Quesada, Hirma Ramírez-Angulo, Jean Claude Razafimahaimodison, Jan Meindert Reitsma, Edilson J. Requena-Rojas, Zorayda Restrepo Correa, Carlos Reynel Rodriguez, Anand Roopsind, Francesco Rovero, Andes Rozak, Agustín Rudas Lleras, Ervan Rutishauser, Gemma Rutten, Ruwan Punchi-Manage, Rafael P. Salomão, Hoang Van Sam, Swapan Kumar Sarker, Manichanh Satdichanh, Juliana Schietti, Christine B. Schmitt, Beatriz Schwantes Marimon, Feyera Senbeta, Lila Nath Sharma, Douglas Sheil, Rodrigo Sierra, Javier E. Silva-Espejo, Marcos Silveira, Bonaventure Sonké, Marc K. Steininger, Robert Steinmetz, Tariq Stévart, Raman Sukumar, Aisha Sultana, Terry C.H. Sunderland, Hebbalalu Satyanarayana Suresh, Jianwei Tang, Edmund Tanner, Hans ter Steege, John W. Terborgh, Ida Theilade, Jonathan Timberlake, Armando Torres-Lezama, Peter Umunay, María Uriarte, Luis Valenzuela Gamarra, Martin van de Bult, Peter van der Hout, Rodolfo Vasquez Martinez, Ima Célia Guimarães Vieira, Simone A. Vieira, Emilio Vilanova, Jeanneth Villalobos Cayo, Ophelia Wang, Campbell O. Webb, Edward L. Webb, Lee White, Timothy J.S. Whitfeld, Serge Wich, Simon Willcock, Susan K. Wiser, Kenneth R. Young, Rahmad Zakaria, Runguo Zang, Charles E. Zartman, Irié Casimir Zo-Bi, Henrik Balslev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) and in terms of responses to climate change. We quantified global patterns of tree palm relative abundance to help improve understanding of tropical forests and reduce uncertainty about these ecosystems under climate change. Location: Tropical and subtropical moist forests. Time period: Current. Major taxa studied: Palms (Arecaceae). Methods: We assembled a pantropical dataset of 2,548 forest plots (covering 1,191 ha) and quantified tree palm (i.e., ≥10 cm diameter at breast height) abundance relative to co-occurring non-palm trees. We compared the relative abundance of tree palms across biogeographical realms and tested for associations with palaeoclimate stability, current climate, edaphic conditions and metrics of forest structure. Results: On average, the relative abundance of tree palms was more than five times larger between Neotropical locations and other biogeographical realms. Tree palms were absent in most locations outside the Neotropics but present in >80% of Neotropical locations. The relative abundance of tree palms was more strongly associated with local conditions (e.g., higher mean annual precipitation, lower soil fertility, shallower water table and lower plot mean wood density) than metrics of long-term climate stability. Life-form diversity also influenced the patterns; palm assemblages outside the Neotropics comprise many non-tree (e.g., climbing) palms. Finally, we show that tree palms can influence estimates of above-ground biomass, but the magnitude and direction of the effect require additional work. Conclusions: Tree palms are not only quintessentially tropical, but they are also overwhelmingly Neotropical. Future work to understand the contributions of tree palms to biomass estimates and carbon cycling will be particularly crucial in Neotropical forests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1495-1514
Number of pages20
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Volume29
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study would not have been possible without the ambitious and dedicated work of many colleagues, including Emmanuel Akampulira, Miguel N. Alexiades, William Balée, Olaf Banki, Serge K. Begne, Desmo Betian, Wemo Betian, Michael I. Bird, Neil M. Bird, George A. Blackburn, Rene Boot, Roel J. W. Brienen, Foster Brown, Ezequiel Chavez, Eric Chezeaux, Manoela F. F. Da Silva, Douglas C. Daly, Kyle G. Dexter, Luisa Fernanda Duque, Jose Farreras, Nina Farwig, Toby Gardner, Alwyn Gentry, Francisco Gómez, Rachel Graham, René Guillén Villaroel, Olivier J. Hardy, Terese Hart, Miriam van Heist, Mireille Breuer Ndoundou Hockemba, Kathryn Brun‐Jeffery, Valerie Kapos, Jeanette Kemp, Miguel Leal, Eddie Lenza, Antonio S. Lima, Maurício Lima Dan, Pedro Lisboa, Jon Lloyd, Jhon Mario Lopez, Ubirajara N. Maciel, Jean‐Remy Makana, Antti Marjokorpi, Toby Marthews, Emanual H. Martin, James Franklin Maxwell, Irina Mendoza Polo, Edi Mirmanto, Kazuki Miyamoto, Franklin Molina, Sam Moore, Pantaleo K. T. Munishi, Helen Murphy, David M. Newbery, Vojtech Novotny, Navendu Page, Karla Pedra de Abreu, Maria C. Peñuela‐Mora, Ghillean T. Prance, John Proctor, Wilfredo Ramirez Salas, Adela Reatigui Ismodes, Eliana Riascos, Terhi Riutta, Nelson A. Rosa, Philippe Saner, Lars Schmidt, Marcela Serna, Michael Swaine, James Taplin, Peguy Tchouto, Johan van Valkenburg, Peter van de Meer, Cesar Velasquez, Jason Vleminckx, George Weiblen and Roderick Zagt. We also depend on the centuries of work completed by palm taxonomists. W.L.E.'s contribution was supported by a research grant (00025354) from VILLUM FONDEN. J.C.S. considers this work a contribution to his VILLUM Investigator project “Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World” funded by VILLUM FONDEN (grant 16549). R.M. was supported by Vetenskapsrådet (2019‐03758). This work was supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research Natural Sciences (grant 4181‐00158) to H..B, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska‐Curie grant agreement No. 706011, and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001. This paper is a product of the RAINFOR, AfriTRON and T‐FORCES networks and other partner networks in ForestPlots.net, which together support long‐term forest science and monitoring across tropical countries. These initiatives have been supported by numerous people and grants since their inception. We are particularly indebted to >1,400 field assistants for their help in establishing and maintaining the plots, in addition to hundreds of rural communities and institutions. Collection and management of data analysed here from the RAINFOR, AfriTRON and T‐FORCES networks have been supported by multiple grants, most notably the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Grant 291585, “T‐FORCES”), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (#1656, “RAINFOR”), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the European Union's Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Framework Programme (EVK2‐CT‐1999‐00023, “CARBONSINK‐LBA”; 283080, “GEOCARBON”; and 282664, “AMAZALERT”), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC grants: NE/D005590/1, “TROBIT”; NE/F005806/1, “AMAZONICA”; E/M0022021/1, “PPFOR”; NERC Urgency Grants and NERC New Investigators Grants), the NERC/State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) consortium grants “BIO‐RED” (NE/N012542/1, 2012/51872‐5) and “ECOFOR” (NE/K016431/1, 2012/51509‐8), the Royal Society (University Research Fellowships and Global Challenges Awards “FORAMA”, ICA/R1/180100), the National Geographic Society, the Centre for International Forestry (CIFOR), Gabon's National Parks Agency (ANPN) and Colombia’s Colciencias. We thank the National Council for Science and Technology Development of Brazil (CNPq) for support to the Cerrado/Amazonia Transition Long‐Term Ecology Project (PELD/403725/2012‐7), the PPBio Phytogeography of Amazonia/Cerrado Transition project (CNPq/PPBio/457602/2012‐0), PVE grants, and Productivity Grants to several colleagues. Atlantic Forest plots in Brazil were supported by the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP 2003/12595‐7 and 2012/51509‐8, BIOTA/FAPESP Program) and by the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq/PELD 403710/2012‐0; Universal 459941/2014‐3) under COTEC/IF 41.065/2005 and IBAMA/CGEN 093/2005 permits. Some of the data were provided by the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network, a collaboration between Conservation International, the Smithsonian Institution and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and partially funded by these institutions, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and other donors. RAPELD plots in Brazil were supported by the Program for Biodiversity Research (PPBio), the National Institute for Amazonian Biodiversity (INCT‐CENBAM) and BDFFP (INPA‐STRI). Grant USM‐RUI‐1001/PBIOLOGI/8011031 also supported fieldwork. This is publication 788 of the BDFFP Technical Series and is an outcome of the ForestPlots.net approved research project #2, “Global Patterns of Palm Abundance”. We acknowledge the support of the European Space Agency. We thank several anonymous reviewers and the editor for help improving our manuscript.

Funding Information:
This study would not have been possible without the ambitious and dedicated work of many colleagues, including Emmanuel Akampulira, Miguel N. Alexiades, William Bal?e, Olaf Banki, Serge K. Begne, Desmo Betian, Wemo Betian, Michael I. Bird, Neil M. Bird, George A. Blackburn, Rene Boot, Roel J. W. Brienen, Foster Brown, Ezequiel Chavez, Eric Chezeaux, Manoela F. F. Da Silva, Douglas C. Daly, Kyle G. Dexter, Luisa Fernanda Duque, Jose Farreras, Nina Farwig, Toby Gardner, Alwyn Gentry, Francisco G?mez, Rachel Graham, Ren? Guill?n Villaroel, Olivier J. Hardy, Terese Hart, Miriam van Heist, Mireille Breuer Ndoundou Hockemba, Kathryn Brun-Jeffery, Valerie Kapos, Jeanette Kemp, Miguel Leal, Eddie Lenza, Antonio S. Lima, Maur?cio Lima Dan, Pedro Lisboa, Jon Lloyd, Jhon Mario Lopez, Ubirajara N. Maciel, Jean-Remy Makana, Antti Marjokorpi, Toby Marthews, Emanual H. Martin, James Franklin Maxwell, Irina Mendoza Polo, Edi Mirmanto, Kazuki Miyamoto, Franklin Molina, Sam Moore, Pantaleo K. T. Munishi, Helen Murphy, David M. Newbery, Vojtech Novotny, Navendu Page, Karla Pedra de Abreu, Maria C. Pe?uela-Mora, Ghillean T. Prance, John Proctor, Wilfredo Ramirez Salas, Adela Reatigui Ismodes, Eliana Riascos, Terhi Riutta, Nelson A. Rosa, Philippe Saner, Lars Schmidt, Marcela Serna, Michael Swaine, James Taplin, Peguy Tchouto, Johan van Valkenburg, Peter van de Meer, Cesar Velasquez, Jason Vleminckx, George Weiblen and Roderick Zagt. We also depend on the centuries of work completed by palm taxonomists. W.L.E.'s contribution was supported by a research grant (00025354) from VILLUM FONDEN. J.C.S. considers this work a contribution to his VILLUM Investigator project ?Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World? funded by VILLUM FONDEN (grant 16549). R.M. was supported by Vetenskapsr?det (2019-03758). This work was supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research Natural Sciences (grant 4181-00158) to H.B, the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 706011, and Coordena??o de Aperfei?oamento de Pessoal de N?vel Superior?Brasil (CAPES)?Finance Code 001. This paper is a product of the RAINFOR, AfriTRON and T-FORCES networks and other partner networks in ForestPlots.net, which together support long-term forest science and monitoring across tropical countries. These initiatives have been supported by numerous people and grants since their inception. We are particularly indebted to >1,400 field assistants for their help in establishing and maintaining the plots, in addition to hundreds of rural communities and institutions. Collection and management of data analysed here from the RAINFOR, AfriTRON and T-FORCES networks have been supported by multiple grants, most notably the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Grant 291585, ?T-FORCES?), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (#1656, ?RAINFOR?), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the European Union's Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Framework Programme (EVK2-CT-1999-00023, ?CARBONSINK-LBA?; 283080, ?GEOCARBON?; and 282664, ?AMAZALERT?), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC grants: NE/D005590/1, ?TROBIT?; NE/F005806/1, ?AMAZONICA?; E/M0022021/1, ?PPFOR?; NERC Urgency Grants and NERC New Investigators Grants), the NERC/State of S?o Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) consortium grants ?BIO-RED? (NE/N012542/1, 2012/51872-5) and ?ECOFOR? (NE/K016431/1, 2012/51509-8), the Royal Society (University Research Fellowships and Global Challenges Awards ?FORAMA?, ICA/R1/180100), the National Geographic Society, the Centre for International Forestry (CIFOR), Gabon's National Parks Agency (ANPN) and Colombia?s Colciencias. We thank the National Council for Science and Technology Development of Brazil (CNPq) for support to the Cerrado/Amazonia Transition Long-Term Ecology Project (PELD/403725/2012-7), the PPBio Phytogeography of Amazonia/Cerrado Transition project (CNPq/PPBio/457602/2012-0), PVE grants, and Productivity Grants to several colleagues. Atlantic Forest plots in Brazil were supported by the State of S?o Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP?2003/12595-7 and?2012/51509-8, BIOTA/FAPESP Program) and by the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq/PELD 403710/2012-0; Universal 459941/2014-3) under COTEC/IF 41.065/2005 and IBAMA/CGEN 093/2005 permits. Some of the data were provided by the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network, a collaboration between Conservation International, the Smithsonian Institution and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and partially funded by these institutions, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and other donors. RAPELD plots in Brazil were supported by the Program for Biodiversity Research (PPBio), the National Institute for Amazonian Biodiversity (INCT-CENBAM) and BDFFP (INPA-STRI). Grant USM-RUI-1001/PBIOLOGI/8011031 also supported fieldwork. This is publication 788 of the BDFFP Technical Series and is an outcome of the ForestPlots.net approved research project #2, ?Global Patterns of Palm Abundance?. We acknowledge the support of the European Space Agency. We thank several anonymous reviewers and the editor for help improving our manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Global Ecology and Biogeography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Keywords

  • Arecaceae
  • Neotropics
  • above-ground biomass
  • abundance patterns
  • local abiotic conditions
  • pantropical biogeography
  • tropical rainforest
  • wood density

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