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Second GrowthThe Promise of Tropical Forest Regeneration in an Age of Deforestation$
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Robin L. Chazdon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226117911

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226118109.001.0001

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Functional Traits and Community Assembly during Secondary Succession

Functional Traits and Community Assembly during Secondary Succession

(p.167) Chapter 10 Functional Traits and Community Assembly during Secondary Succession
Second Growth

Robin L. Chazdon

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the life forms, functional traits, and functional groups of plants that predominate during different successional stages, and describes patterns and mechanisms of species turnover during succession. The high photosynthetic and growth capacity of plants that colonize early in succession enables these species to compete effectively for high levels of resource availability. But species with these “fast” traits lose their competitive edge later in succession, when establishment and survival depend more upon “slow” traits that reduce intrinsic rates of growth and enable long-term persistence in shaded understory. Changes in species composition during succession reflect a combination of initial floristic composition and relay floristics, in which species colonize sequentially in response to changing forest conditions. Tree recruitment during later stages of succession favors species that are more functionally and phylogenetically distinct than during earlier stages of succession as biotic interactions become increasingly important drivers of community assembly.

Keywords:   community assembly, competition, environmental filtering, functional groups, functional traits, growth, mortality, pioneer, seed size, shade tolerance

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