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Are Diamond’s assembly rules applicable in tropical threatened vascular plants assemblages in the Tarap Hill Reserve in Bangladesh?

Corresponding Author : Mahmuda Sharmin (m.sharmin@westernsydney.edu.au)

Authors : Mahmuda Sharmin

Keywords : Competition, null models, disturbance, presence-absence matrix, Bangladesh

Abstract :

Disentangling the co-existing patterns (random or non-random) of species and to infer about assembly rules underpinning the observed patterns are central research issues in community ecology. Previous empirical results suggested that Diamond’s assembly rule explains a considerable amount of observed species spatial distribution pattern variation. However, the rule has yet to be checked in tropical forests where plant communities experience high anthropogenic disturbances and rapid conversion of natural forests has resulted in fragmented forests with many threatened species. In this study, we collected the occurrence data of both red-listed and general vascular plant species from four distinct forest types (e.g., undisturbed natural, disturbed natural, matured secondary, and mixed plantation forest) in Tarap Hill Reserve, Bangladesh. Our results comply with the basic predictions of Diamond’s assembly rules in threatened vascular plants assemblages in undisturbed natural and matured secondary forests, and at the forest landscape level as well. Conversely, we observed random co-occurrence patterns at disturbed natural and managed mixed plantation forests. In conclusion, our results indicate that although competition plays a pivotal role in structuring tropical threatened plants assemblages at different forest types and the forest landscape level, anthropogenic disturbances also have strong influences upon threatened species distribution.

Published on June 30th, 2020 in Volume 30, Issue 1, Agriculture and Mineral Science