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Continuous forest has greater taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic plant diversity than an adjacent naturally fragmented forest

  • Miguel A. Munguía-Rosas (a1), Selmy G. Jurado-Dzib (a1), Candy R. Mezeta-Cob (a1), Salvador Montiel (a1), Armando Rojas (a1) and Juan M. Pech-Canché (a2)...


Several studies have evaluated the short-term effects of tropical forest fragmentation on plant taxonomic diversity, while only a few have evaluated its effects on functional or phylogenetic diversity. To our knowledge no study has looked at the long-term consequences of tropical forest fragmentation on the three main components of plant diversity simultaneously: taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity. We sampled the vascular flora using belt transects (50 × 4 m) in a continuous tropical semi-evergreen forest (16 transects) and in an adjacent naturally fragmented forest (fragments of 1.7-My-old semi-evergreen forest immersed in a mangrove/sedge matrix) (18 transects), and compared their taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic plant diversity. There were 36 species in the continuous forest and 28 in the fragmented forest. Continuous forest was taxonomically more diverse (25%) than the fragmented forest. All functional diversity metrics were greater (6–33%) in the continuous than in the fragmented forest. Phylogenetic diversity was 19% greater and phylogenetically more overdispersed in the continuous forest than in the fragmented forest. The results suggest that in the fragmented forest not only is taxonomic plant diversity lower, but functional and phylogenetic diversity are as well. The negative effects of forest fragmentation on plant diversity seem to be chronic.


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Continuous forest has greater taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic plant diversity than an adjacent naturally fragmented forest

  • Miguel A. Munguía-Rosas (a1), Selmy G. Jurado-Dzib (a1), Candy R. Mezeta-Cob (a1), Salvador Montiel (a1), Armando Rojas (a1) and Juan M. Pech-Canché (a2)...


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