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Negative density dependence explains tropical biodiversity

20:00 EDT 29 Jun 2017 | AAAS

(S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University) The diversity of woody plant species is one of the most notable aspects of forests worldwide. However, the mechanisms behind the high diversity in tropical forests and the lower diversity in temperate forests have been poorly understood. Over 50 years ago, Daniel Janzen and Joseph Connell proposed a theory that plant enemies -- specialized insects, fungi, and bacteria -- attack and kill seedlings near their parent trees, preventing common species from dominating a forest.

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Tropical Medicine
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