Hyperdominance in the Amazonian tree flora.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The vast extent of the Amazon Basin has historically restricted the study of its tree communities to the local and regional scales. Here, we provide empirical data on the commonness, rarity, and richness of lowland tree species across the entire Amazon Basin and Guiana Shield (Amazonia), collected in 1170 tree plots in all major forest types. Extrapolations suggest that Amazonia harbors roughly 16,000 tree species, of which just 227 (1.4%) account for half of all trees. Most of these are habitat specialists and only dominant in one or two regions of the basin. We discuss some implications of the finding that a small group of species--less diverse than the North American tree flora--accounts for half of the world's most diverse tree community.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • ter Steege, H; Pitman, NCA; Sabatier, D; Baraloto, C; Salomão, RP; Guevara, JE; Phillips, OL; Castilho, CV; Magnusson, WE; Molino, J-F; Monteagudo, A; Núñez Vargas, P; Montero, JC; Feldpausch, TR; Coronado, ENH; Killeen, TJ; Mostacedo, B; Vasquez, R; Assis, RL; Terborgh, J; Wittmann, F; Andrade, A; Laurance, WF; Laurance, SGW; Marimon, BS; Marimon, B-H; Guimarães Vieira, IC; Amaral, IL; Brienen, R; Castellanos, H; Cárdenas López, D; Duivenvoorden, JF; Mogollón, HF; Matos, FDDA; Dávila, N; García-Villacorta, R; Stevenson Diaz, PR; Costa, F; Emilio, T; Levis, C; Schietti, J; Souza, P; Alonso, A; Dallmeier, F; Montoya, AJD; Fernandez Piedade, MT; Araujo-Murakami, A; Arroyo, L; Gribel, R; Fine, PVA; Peres, CA; Toledo, M; Aymard C, GA; Baker, TR; Cerón, C; Engel, J; Henkel, TW; Maas, P; Petronelli, P; Stropp, J; Zartman, CE; Daly, D; Neill, D; Silveira, M; Paredes, MR; Chave, J; Lima Filho, DDA; Jørgensen, PM; Fuentes, A; Schöngart, J; Cornejo Valverde, F; Di Fiore, A; Jimenez, EM; Peñuela Mora, MC; Phillips, JF; Rivas, G; van Andel, TR; von Hildebrand, P; Hoffman, B; Zent, EL; Malhi, Y; Prieto, A; Rudas, A; Ruschell, AR; Silva, N; Vos, V; Zent, S; Oliveira, AA; Schutz, AC; Gonzales, T; Trindade Nascimento, M; Ramirez-Angulo, H; Sierra, R; Tirado, M; Umaña Medina, MN; van der Heijden, G; Vela, CIA; Vilanova Torre, E; Vriesendorp, C; Wang, O; Young, KR; Baider, C; Balslev, H; Ferreira, C; Mesones, I; Torres-Lezama, A; Urrego Giraldo, LE; Zagt, R; Alexiades, MN; Hernandez, L; Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, I; Milliken, W; Palacios Cuenca, W; Pauletto, D; Valderrama Sandoval, E; Valenzuela Gamarra, L; Dexter, KG; Feeley, K; Lopez-Gonzalez, G; Silman, MR

Published Date

  • October 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 342 / 6156

Start / End Page

  • 1243092 -

PubMed ID

  • 24136971

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1243092


  • eng