Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size

A global analysis of 403 tropical and temperate tree species, showing that for most species mass growth rate increases continuously with tree size. Thus, large, old trees do not act simply as senescent carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon. At the extreme the annual fixing of carbon by a single large tree can equal the entire carbon content of a smaller tree.

Stephenson, N.L. et al.
2014
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Quantifying variation in forest disturbance, and its effects on aboveground biomass dynamics, across the eastern United States

We analyzed forest inventory data from the eastern United States to estimate plot-level variation in mortality (relative to a long-term background rate for individual trees) for nine distinct forest regions. Disturbances that produced at least a fourfold increase in tree mortality over an approximately 5 year interval were observed in 1–5% of plots in each forest region.

VANDERWEL, M.C.; COOMES, D.A.; PURVES, D.W.
2013
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Remotely sensed indicators of forest conservation status: Case study from a Natura 2000 site in southern Portugal

We test the complementarity and joint effectiveness of airborne multispectral and laser scanning (lidar) in providing robust indicators of conservation status.Principal forest types and other land covers are mapped to an accuracy of up to 70% (11 land cover classes) and 81% (5 classes) by fusing the two remote sensing datasets, results that are superior to using either one alone.

Simonson, W.D.; Allen, H.D.; Coomes, D.A.
2013
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Testing the metabolic theory of ecology

An argument that critical evaluation of MTE also requires strong tests of both its theoretical foundations and simplifying assumptions. To this end, we synthesise available information and find that MTE’s original derivations require additional assumptions to obtain the full scope of attendant predictions.

Price, C.A. et al.
2012
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Competitive interactions between forest trees are driven by species’ trait hierarchy, not phylogenetic or functional similarity: implications for forest community assembly

Using growth data, we estimated 275 interaction coefficients between tree species in the French mountains. We show that interaction strengths are mainly driven by trait hierarchy and not by functional or phylogenetic similarity.

Kunstler, G.; Lavergne, S.; Courbaud, B.; Thuiller, W.; Vieilledent, G.; Zimmermann, N.E.; Kattge, J.; Coomes D.A.
2012
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Optical and SAR sensor synergies for forest and land cover mapping in a tropical site in West Africa

Classification of a study area in West Africa we integrated the optical sensors Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and the Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radio meter type 2 (AVNIR-2) with the Phased Arrayed L-band SAR (PALSAR) sensor, the latter two on-board the Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS), using traditional Maximum Likelihood (MLC) and Neural Networks (NN) classifiers.

Laurin, G.V. et al.
2012
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Size-Specific Tree Mortality Varies with Neighbourhood Crowding and Disturbance in a Montane Nothofagus Forest

Using permanent plot data from Nothofagus forest, New Zealand, where the fates of trees were followed, to examine patterns of size-specific mortality over three consecutive periods spanning 30 years, each characterised by different disturbance, and the strength and direction of neighbourhood crowding effects on size-specific mortality rates.

Hurst, J.M.; Allen, R.B.; Coomes, D.A.; Duncan, R.P.
2011
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TRY – a global database of plant traits

Presentation of the global database initiative named TRY, which has united a wide range of the plant trait research community worldwide and gained an unprecedented buy-in of trait data: so far 93 trait databases have been contributed.

KATTGE, J. et al.
2011
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Influence of foliar traits on forage selection by introduced red deer in New Zealand

Understanding diet selection is to relate diet choices to the foliar and structural traits of forage species. Using data on diet selection by red deer  in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, we determined the extent to which interspecific differences in the palatability of 46 plant species could be explained by 11 chemical and structural characteristics of plant foliage.

Bee, J.N.; Tanentzap, A.J.; Lee, W.G.; Lavers, R.B.; Mark, A.F.; Mills, J.A.; Coomes, D.A.
2011
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Species- and community-level patterns in fine root traits along a 120 000-year soil chronosequence in temperate rain forest

Measurement of species- and community-level root and leaf trait responses for 50 temperate rainforest species from 28 families of ferns, woody and herbaceous angiosperms and conifers, along a soil chronosequence in New Zealand that exhibits a strong gradient in soil nutrient availability.

Holdaway, R.J.; Richardson, S.J.; Dickie, I.A.; Peltzer D.A.; Coomes, D.A.
2011
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Do leaves of plants on phosphorus-impoverished soils contain high concentrations of phenolic defence compounds?

Comparing the foliar concentrations of phenolic compounds in phenotypes of 21 species growing on P-rich alluvial terraces and P-depleted marine terraces in southern New Zealand, and 87 species growing under similar climates on comparatively P-rich soils in New Zealand vs. P-depleted soils in Tasmania.

Wright, D.M.; Jordan, G.J.; Lee, W.G.; Duncan, R.P.; Forsyth, D.M.; Coomes, D.A.
2010
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Interspecific relationships among growth, mortality and xylem traits of woody species from New Zealand

Testing the hypotheses that there is a set of inter-related trade-offs linked to the different functions of wood, that these trade-offs have direct consequences for tree growth and survival and that these trade-offs underlie the observed correlations between wood density and demographic rates.

Russo, S.E.; Jenkins, K.L.; Wiser, S.K.; Uriarte, M.; Duncan, R.P.; Coomes, D.A.
2010
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Biodiversity Conservation: Challenges Beyond 2010

An argument that effective conservation of biodiversity is essential for human survival and the maintenance of ecosystem processes. Despite some conservation successes (especially at local scales) and increasing public and government interest in living sustainably, biodiversity continues to decline.

Rands, M.R.W et al
2010
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Spatio-temporal feeding selection of red deer in a mountainous landscape

Understanding the dietary consumption and selection of wild populations of generalist herbivores is hampered by the complex array of factors. Here, we determine the influence of habitat, season, and animal density, sex, and age on the diet consumption and selection of 426 red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus) culled in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

BEE, J.N.; WRIGHT, D.M.; TANENTZAP, A.J.; LEE, W.G.; LAVERS, R.B.; MILLS, J.A.; MARK, A.F.; COOMES, D.A. 
2010
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Landscape-level vegetation recovery from herbivory: progress after four decades of invasive red deer control

Report long-term vegetation changes in permanent plots located in forest, shrubland and grassland communities across a mountain range in southern New Zealand. We test whether 92% reduction in the population of invasive non-indigenous red deer, Cervus elaphus, since 1964 has led to the recovery of deer-preferred species.

Tanentzap, A.J.; Burrows, L.E.; Lee, W.G.; Nugent, G; Maxwell, J.M.; Coomes, D.A.
2009
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Mapping community change in modified landscapes

We convert point observations of more than 28,000 beetles from 851 species into a continuous biodiversity surface representing the similarity of ecological communities relative to that of pristine forest, effectively integrating on-the-ground biodiversity data with remotely sensed landcover data to predict the magnitude of community change in a modified landscape.

Ewers, R.M.; Kapos, V.; Coomes, D.A.; Lafortezza, R.; Didham, R.K.
2009
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Size-dependence of growth and mortality influence the shade tolerance of trees in a lowland temperate rain forest

Quantification of growth and mortality for two different juvenile life stages – seedlings and saplings– of seven tree species common in temperate rain forests in New Zealand using data from field studies. Strong evidence that the ranking of species for survival in shade and growth in full light was affected by size.

Kunstler, G.; Coomes, D.A.; Canham, C.D.
2009
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Testing the Metabolic Scaling Theory of tree growth

Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST) predicts a ‘universal scaling law’ of tree growth. Proponents claim that MST has strong empirical support: the size-dependent growth curves of 40 out of 45 species in a Costa Rican forest have scaling exponents indistinguishable from the MST prediction. This paper shows the Costa Rican data has been misinterpreted. Using Standardized MajorAxis (SMA) line-fitting to estimate scaling exponents, we find that four out of five species represented have scaling exponents that deviate significantly from the prediction.

Coomes, D.A.; Allen, R.B.
2009
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A greater range of shade-tolerance niches in nutrient-rich forests: an explanation for positive richness–productivity relationships?

Investigating if a wider range of growth rates and shade tolerances are found on nutrient-rich soils, because such soils not only support fast-growing species with high metabolic rates, but also species capable of tolerating the very deep shade cast by forest canopies growing where nutrients are plentiful.

Coomes, D.A.; Kunstler, G.; Canham, C.D.; Wright, E.
2009
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The benefits of being in a bad neighbourhood: plant community composition influences red deer foraging decisions

The role of neighbour palatability in affecting foraging of a target plant by large mammalian herbivores using a large-scale field dataset on diet selection by red deer. Examining whether intraspecific variation in browsing of plants can be related to variation in the local abundance of alternative forage species.

Bee, J.N.; Tanentzap, A.J.; Lee, W.G.; Lavers, R.B.; Mark, A.F.; Mills, J.A.; Coomes, D.A.
2009
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Spatially explicit models to analyze forest loss and fragmentation between 1976 and 2020 in southern Chile

Identification of the geophysical variables (“pattern drivers”) that explain the spatial patterns of forest loss and fragmentation between 1976 and 1999 using both a GIS-based land-use change model (GEOMOD) and spatially explicit logistic regression. Includes projections where and how much forest fragmentation will occur in the future by extrapolation of the current rate of deforestation to 2010 and 2020.

Echeverria, C.; Coomes, D.A.; Hall, M.; Newton, A.C.
2008
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NEOENDEMISM IN MADAGASCAN SCALY TREE FERNS RESULTS FROM RECENT, COINCIDENT DIVERSIFICATION BURSTS

The evolution of Madagascan tree ferns as a rainforest-specific model family, integrating results from bioclimatic niche analysis with a dated phylogenetic framework, and proposal of an evolutionary scenario of large island endemic clades. Showing that Madagascar’s extant tree fern diversity springs from three distinct ancestors independently colonising Madagascar during the Miocene.

Janssen, J.; Bystriakova, N.; Rakotondrainibe, F.; Coomes, D.; Labat, J.; Schneider H.
2008
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Scaling of xylem vessels and veins within oak leaves

An examination of the scaling of the leaf xylem in ten temperate oak species to test general models of plant vascular architecture, based on scaling of pipe diameters in order to minimize hydraulic resistance within the xylem, which have neglected to consider the variations in leaf hydraulic properties.

Coomes, D.A.; Heathcote, S.; Godfrey, E.R.; Shepherd, J.J.; Sack, L.
2008
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Effects of size, competition and altitude on tree growth

An exploration of the factors regulating the diameter growth of 3334 trees of mountain beech growing in natural single-species forests in New Zealand. Maximum-likelihood modelling was used to quantify the influences of tree size, altitude, the basal area of taller neighbours (BL) and the basal area of all neighbours (BT) on growth.

Coomes, D.A.; Allen, R.B.
2007
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Resistance and resilience of New Zealand tree species to browsing

A prominent idea in the literature on plant–herbivore interactions is that fast-growing
species have low resistance but high resilience to herbivory. Fast-growing species are selectively eaten by herbivores but recover quickly following damage. This is an analysis whether this resistance-resilience trade-off applies to New Zealand woody species, which evolved without exposure to mammalian herbivores.

BEE, J.N.; KUNSTLER, G.; COOMES, D.A.
2007
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Scaling of tree vascular transport systems along gradients of nutrient supply and altitude

Investigating whether trees growing at high altitude or on nutrient-depleted soils prioritise survival over minimising hydraulic resistance by narrowing xylem distally or of their vascular systems would be structured differently from those of trees growing under more benign conditions. Conduits were observed to narrow towards the periphery of vascular system within all members of all species investigated, and scaling relation-ships were indistinguishable across a range of environments.

Coomes, D.A.; Jenkins, K.L.; Cole L.E.S.
2006
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Rapid deforestation and fragmentation of Chilean Temperate Forests

Three land-cover maps were derived from satellite imagery acquired over 25 years (1975, 1990 and 2000), and were used to assess the patterns of deforestation and forest fragmentation in the coastal range of south-central Chile. Between 1975 and 2000, there was a reduction in natural forest area of 67% in the study area, which is equivalent to an annual forest loss rate of 4.5% per year using a compound-interest-rate formula.

Echeverria, C.; Coomes, D.A. et al.
2006
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Long-Term Effects of Wild fire on Ecosystem Properties Across an Island Area Gradient

Boreal forest soils play an important role in the global carbon cycle by functioning as a large terrestrial carbon sink or source, and the alteration of fire regime through global change phenomena may influence this role. In this study a system of forested lake islands in the boreal zone of Sweden for which fire frequency increases with increasing island size was investigated for evidence of environmental factors being influenced by fire frequency.

Wardle, D.A.; Hörnberg, G.; Zackrisson, O.; Kalela-Brundin, M.; Coomes, D.A.
2003
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Seed mass and the competition /colonization trade-off: competitive interactions and spatial patterns in a guild of annual plants

Using neighbourhood modelling to estimate individual-level competition coefficients for seven annuals growing in limestone grassland over 2 years the relative strength of intra- and interspecific competition was calculated and related to differences in seed size and plant size between targets and neighbours.

TURNBULL, L.A; COOMES, D.A.; HECTOR, A.; REES, M.
2004
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Consistencies in post-dispersal seed predation of temperate fleshy-fruited species among seasons, years and sites

Seed predation of 12 fleshy-fruited species was recorded in experimental dishes under early successional forest in south-west Germany (four seasons 1992 and 1993) and in south England (summer 1995). The mean time for three or more seeds of a species to be removed was taken as a measure of granivore preferences. Correlations of these preferences with several physical and nutritional seed traits were tested.

Kollmann, J.; Coomes, D.A.; White, S.M.

1998

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IMPACTS OF ROOT COMPETITION IN FORESTS AND WOODLANDS: A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND REVIEW OF EXPERIMENTS

Predicting the types of forest in which root competition affects seedling performance, and the types of plants that respond most strongly to release from root competition. Testing predictions by reviewing experiments in which tree seedlings and forest herbs are released from belowground competition, usually by cutting trenches to sever the roots of surrounding trees.

Coomes, D.A.; Grubb, P.J.

2000

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IDENTIFYING AGGREGATION AND ASSOCIATION IN FULLY MAPPED SPATIAL DATA

Describes a clump recognition process that may be used to analyze fully mapped spatial data. Any given spatial pattern can be made less aggregated by replacing the closest-together pair of plants by a single individual at their centroid position. By repeatedly amalgamating pairs of individuals in this way, an initially aggregated pattern can be reduced to one indistinguishable from complete spatial randomness.

Coomes, D.A.; Rees, M.; Turnbull, L.

1999

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