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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Over the past 30 years, the Center for Tropical Forest Sciences has established a global stem-mapping forest plots network consisting of 5 million trees representing nearly 9000 species. This network has fundamentally changed the way forest biodiversity is studied. The fully mapped plots contain complete spatial locations of every single tree in a plot of, typically, 50 ha in size. Such spatial data are essential for inferring mechanisms of species coexistence. This working group, consisting of 16 multidisciplinary researchers, seeks to achieve two objectives. The first is to synthesize our understanding of the role that neighborhood spatial structure plays in mediating species coexistence in tree communities from the three decades long publications of the network. The second is to develop new methods for quantifying the spatial interaction of multispecies and the spatio-temporal dynamics of tree point processes. This working group will contribute to a synthetic understanding of the maintenance mechanisms for tree communities from the spatial perspective and will further foster international collaborations in forest biodiversity study.
Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

Fangliang He, Richard Condit, Stephen P. Hubbell, Thorsten Wiegand

Project Dates

Start: January 1, 2013

End: September 30, 2013



Tania Brenes-Arguedas
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Lei Chen
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chengjin Chu
Utah State University
Liza S. Comita
Ohio State University
Richard Condit
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Matteo Detto
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Fangliang He
University of Alberta
Stephen P. Hubbell
University of California, Los Angeles
Andreas Huth
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Monica Moreno
University of Alberta
Stephen J. Murphy
Ohio State University
Guochun Shen
East China Normal University
Anna Sugiyama
University of California, Los Angeles
Xinghua Sui
Sun Yat-sen University
I-Fang Sun
National Dong Hwa University
Junfeng Tang
Lanzhou University
Maria Uriarte
Columbia University
Igor Volkov
Pennsylvania State University
Thorsten Wiegand
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Jian Zhang
University of Alberta


  1. Journal Article / 2017

    Spatially explicit metrics of species diversity, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity: Insights into plant community assembly processes