David F R P Burslem

David F R P Burslem
University of Aberdeen | ABDN · School of Biological Sciences

BA PhD

About

248
Publications
121,157
Reads
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10,130
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 1995 - present
University of Aberdeen
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (248)
Article
The role of conspecific density dependence (CDD) in the maintenance of species richness is a central focus of tropical forest ecology. However, tests of CDD often ignore the integrated effects of CDD over multiple life stages and their long-term impacts on population demography. We combined a 10-year time series of seed production, seedling recruit...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, yet their functioning is threatened by anthropogenic disturbances and climate change. Global actions to conserve tropical forests could be enhanced by having local knowledge on the forestsʼ functional diversity and functional redundancy as proxies for their capacity to respon...
Article
Full-text available
Revealing the mechanisms of environmental niche partitioning within lowland tropical forests is important for understanding the drivers of current species distributions and potential vulnerability to environmental change. Tropical forest structure and species composition change across edaphic gradients in Borneo over short distances. However, our u...
Article
Fine‐scale topographic‐edaphic gradients are common in tropical forests and drive species spatial turnover and marked changes in forest structure and function. We evaluate how hydraulic traits of tropical tree species relate to vertical and horizontal spatial niche specialization along such a gradient. Along a topographic‐edaphic gradient with unif...
Article
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demonstrated that individuals growing in shrublands have a higher fecundity than those in grassland and rocky habitats. Furthermore, grazing pressure of cattle and horses substantially reduces fecundity and impacts the relationship between age and fecundity. We incorporated our field-estimated habitat and age-specific fecundities into both analytic...
Article
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NASAs Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is collecting space-borne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDIs footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a descript...
Article
Conservation strategies are rarely systematically evaluated, which reduces transparency, hinders the cost-effective deployment of resources, and hides what works best in different contexts. Using data on the iconic and critically endangered orangutan (Pongo spp.), we developed a novel spatiotemporal framework for evaluating conservation investments...
Article
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Tree size shapes forest carbon dynamics and determines how trees interact with their environment, including a changing climate. Here, we conduct the first global analysis of among‐site differences in how aboveground biomass stocks and fluxes are distributed with tree size. We analyzed repeat tree censuses from 25 large‐scale (4–52 ha) forest plots...
Article
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Formulating effective management plans for addressing the impacts of invasive non-native species (INNS) requires the definition of clear priorities and tangible targets, and the recognition of the plurality of societal values assigned to these species. These tasks require a multi-disciplinary approach and the involvement of stakeholders. Here, we d...
Article
is collecting spaceborne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDI's footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a description of the datasets used and the procedure for final...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation outcomes could be greatly enhanced if strategies addressing anthropogenic land-use change considered the impacts of these changes on entire communities as well as on individual species. Examining how species interactions change across gradients of habitat disturbance allows us to predict the cascading consequences of species extinction...
Preprint
Full-text available
Species radiations have long fascinated biologists, but the contribution of adaptation to observed diversity and speciation is still an open question. Here, we explore this question using the clove genus, Syzygium, the world’s largest genus of tree species comprising approximately 1200 species. We dissect Syzygium diversity through shotgun sequenci...
Article
There has been widespread clearance of tropical forests for agriculture, but in many cases the cultivation phase is only transient. The secondary forests recovering on these abandoned sites may contribute to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and protection of biodiversity, but the rates of recovery may be dependent on land-use intensity and ch...
Article
Experimental restoration using tree seedlings is a common strategy for accelerating succession on degraded post-agricultural land formerly occupied by Cerrado vegetation. Seedling growth in degraded tropical lands is constrained by various factors. The goal of this study was to evaluate the seedling growth and survival of seven native tree species...
Article
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Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EcM) associations are critical for host-tree performance. However, how mycorrhizal associations correlate with the latitudinal tree beta-diversity remains untested. Using a global dataset of 45 forest plots representing 2,804,270 trees across 3840 species, we test how AM and EcM trees contribute to t...
Article
Forest degradation through logging is pervasive throughout the world’s tropical forests, leading to changes in the three‐dimensional canopy structure that have profound consequences for wildlife, microclimate and ecosystem functioning. Quantifying these structural changes is fundamental to understanding the impact of degradation, but is challenging...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Article
Full-text available
The decline in species richness at higher latitudes is among the most fundamental patterns in ecology. Whether changes in species composition across space (beta-diversity) contribute to this gradient of overall species richness (gamma-diversity) remains hotly debated. Previous studies that failed to resolve the issue suffered from a well-known tend...
Article
Full-text available
Selective logging has affected large areas of tropical forests and there is increasing interest in how to manage selectively logged forests to enhance recovery. However, the impacts of logging and active restoration, by liberation cutting and enrichment planting, on tree community composition are poorly understood compared to trajectories of biomas...
Article
Pathogenic and mutualistic fungi have contrasting effects on seedling establishment, but it remains unclear whether density‐dependent survival and growth are regulated by access to different types of mycorrhizal fungal networks supported by neighbouring adult trees. Here, we conducted an extensive field survey to test how mycorrhizal and pathogenic...
Article
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Logging and conversion of tropical forests in Southeast Asia have resulted in the expansion of landscapes containing a mosaic of habitats that may vary in their ability to sustain local biodiversity. However, the complexity of these landscapes makes it difficult to assess abundance and distribution of some species using ground-based surveys alone....
Article
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Tropical forest ecosystems are undergoing rapid transformation as a result of changing environmental conditions and direct human impacts. However, we cannot adequately understand, monitor or simulate tropical ecosystem responses to environmental changes without capturing the high diversity of plant functional characteristics in the species-rich tro...
Article
Using data on the iconic orangutan (Pongo spp.), we developed a novel spatiotemporal framework for evaluating conservation investments. We show that around USD 1 billion was invested between 1999 and 2019 into orangutan conservation by governments, non-governmental organizations, companies and communities. Broken down by allocation to different con...
Article
Full-text available
ForestGEO is a network of scientists and long-term forest dynamics plots (FDPs) spanning the Earth's major forest types. ForestGEO's mission is to advance understanding of the diversity and dynamics of forests and to strengthen global capacity for forest science research. ForestGEO is unique among forest plot networks in its large-scale plot dimens...
Article
Effective long-term management is needed to address the impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) that cannot be eradicated. We describe the fundamental characteristics of long-term management policies for IAS, diagnose a major shortcoming, and outline how to produce effective IAS management. Key international and transnational management policies co...
Article
Full-text available
Effective long-term management is needed to address the impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) that cannot be eradicated. We describe the fundamental characteristics of long-term management policies for IAS, diagnose a major shortcoming, and outline how to produce effective IAS management. Key international and transnational management policies co...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forest ecosystems are undergoing rapid transformation as a result of changing environmental conditions and direct human impacts. However, we cannot adequately understand, monitor or simulate tropical ecosystem responses to environ ⁎ mental changes without capturing the high diversity of plant functional characteristics in the species-rich...
Article
Full-text available
Aluminium (Al) hyper-accumulation is a common trait expressed by tropical woody plants growing on acidic soils. Studies on Al accumulators have suggested that Al addition may enhance plant growth rates, but the functional significance of this trait and the mechanistic basis of the growth response are uncertain. This study aimed to test the hypothes...
Article
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More than half of all tropical forests are degraded by human impacts, leaving them threatened with conversion to agricultural plantations and risking substantial biodiversity and carbon losses. Restoration could accelerate recovery of aboveground carbon density (ACD), but adoption of restoration is constrained by cost and uncertainties over effecti...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive Alien Species (IAS) threaten biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services, modify landscapes and impose costs to national economies. Management efforts are underway globally to reduce these impacts, but little attention has been paid to optimising the use of the scarce available resources when IAS are impossible to eradicate, and therefo...
Article
Leaf venation networks evolved along several functional axes, including resource transport, damage resistance, mechanical strength, and construction cost. Because functions may depend on architectural features at different scales, network architecture may vary across spatial scales to satisfy functional tradeoffs. We develop a framework for quantif...
Preprint
Full-text available
The latitudinal gradient of declining species richness at higher latitudes is among the most fundamental patterns in ecology. However, whether changes in species composition across space (beta-diversity) contribute to this global gradient of species richness remains debated. Previous studies that failed to resolve the issue suffered from a well-kno...
Article
Aim Mapping tree species richness across the tropics is of great interest for effective conservation and biodiversity management. In this study, we evaluated the potential of full‐waveform lidar data for mapping tree species richness across the tropics by relating measurements of vertical canopy structure, as a proxy for the occupation of vertical...
Article
Full-text available
The mechanisms regulating community composition and local dominance of trees in species-rich forests are poorly resolved, but the importance of interactions with soil microbes is increasingly acknowledged. Here, we show that tree seedlings that interact via root-associated fungal hyphae with soils beneath neighbouring adult trees grow faster and ha...
Article
Full-text available
Trade-offs in wood anatomical characteristics reflect different strategies used by trees to deal with water transport in response to variation in environmental conditions. To study vascular strategies for Bornean rainforest trees, we compared water transport-related anatomical characteristics in branch wood between the common tree species Vatica du...
Article
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Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research sp...
Article
Current conservation planning tends to focus on protecting species ranges or landscape connectivity but seldom both – particularly in the case of diverse taxonomic assemblages and multiple planning goals. Therefore we lack information on potential tradeoffs between maintaining landscape connectivity and achieving other conservation objectives. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Logging, pervasive across the lowland tropics, affects millions of hectares of forest, yet its influence on nutrient cycling remains poorly understood. One hypothesis is that logging influences phosphorus (P) cycling, because this scarce nutrient is removed in extracted timber and eroded soil, leading to shifts in ecosystem functioning and communit...
Article
Where conspecific seedlings occur at high densities, density dependent processes tend to depress their performance and survival relative to co‐occurring heterospecifics. We extend this observation to within‐species genetic diversity and relatedness. We posit that seedling growth and survival increase where there is higher genetic diversity, and low...
Article
Full-text available
Forest biomass is an essential indicator for monitoring the Earth’s ecosystems and climate. It is a critical input to greenhouse gas accounting, estimation of carbon losses and forest degradation, assessment of renewable energy potential, and for developing climate change mitigation policies such as REDD+, among others. Wall-to-wall mapping of abov...
Article
Full-text available
Forest biomass is an essential indicator for monitoring the Earth’s ecosystems and climate. It is a critical input to greenhouse gas accounting, estimation of carbon losses and forest degradation, assessment of renewable energy potential, and for developing climate change mitigation policies such as REDD+, among others. Wall-to-wall mapping of abov...
Article
Full-text available
Forest biomass is an essential indicator for monitoring the Earth's ecosystems and climate. It is a critical input to greenhouse gas accounting, estimation of carbon losses and forest degradation, assessment of renewable energy potential, and for developing climate change mitigation policies such as REDD+, among others. Wall-to-wall mapping of abov...
Article
Full-text available
Forest biomass is an essential indicator for monitoring the Earth's ecosystems and climate. It is a critical input to greenhouse gas accounting, estimation of carbon losses and forest degradation, assessment of renewable energy potential, and for developing climate change mitigation policies such as REDD+, among others. Wall-to-wall mapping of abov...
Article
Full-text available
Both niche and stochastic dispersal processes structure the extraordinary diversity of tropical plants, but determining their relative contributions has proven challenging. We address this question using airborne imaging spectroscopy to estimate canopy β‐diversity for an extensive region of a Bornean rainforest and challenge these data with models...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Seed arrival initiates the natural forest regeneration on degraded sites. However, the arrival and survival of tree seeds is often scarce in human-induced tropical grasslands even decades after agricultural activities have ceased. We tested the hypothesis that secondary succession in human-induced grasslands in central Sri Lanka is limited by low s...
Article
Full-text available
El Niño events generate periods of relatively low precipitation, low cloud cover and high temperature over the rainforests of Southeast Asia, but their impact on tree physiology remains poorly understood. Here we use remote sensing and functional trait approaches—commonly used to understand plant acclimation to environmental fluctuations—to evaluat...
Article
Full-text available
The data set contains images of leaf venation networks obtained from tree species in Malaysian Borneo. The data set contains 726 leaves from 295 species comprising 50 families, sampled from 8 forest plots in Sabah. Image extents are approximately 1 × 1 cm, or 50 megapixels. All images contain a region of interest in which all veins have been hand‐t...
Article
Here we summarise the main findings from recent work investigating site recovery following the removal of invasive rhododendron from Atlantic oak woodland sites across the west coast of Scotland. Published in Conservation Land Management, sister publication to British Wildlife, and not listed on ResearchGate. Good series for British conservationis...
Article
Full-text available
In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-...
Article
Full-text available
Climate is widely recognised as an important determinant of the latitudinal diversity gradient. However, most existing studies make no distinction between direct and indirect effects of climate, which substantially hinders our understanding of how climate constrains biodiversity globally. Using data from 35 large forest plots, we test hypothesised...
Article
Background: The spatial structure of tree species diversity may identify the relative importance of positive, negative and neutral interactions among species and the processes that maintain high species richness in tropical forests. Aims: We tested the hypothesis that common species accumulate higher species richness at small spatial scales than ex...
Article
Full-text available
Prior specifications for hyperparameters of random fields in Bayesian spatial point process modelling can have a major impact on the statistical inference and the conclusions made. We consider fitting of log-Gaussian Cox processes to spatial point patterns relative to spatial covariate data. From an ecological point of view, an important aim of the...
Article
Plant functional traits regulate ecosystem functions but little is known about how co‐occurring gradients of land use and edaphic conditions influence their expression. We test how gradients of logging disturbance and soil properties relate to community‐weighted mean traits in logged and old‐growth tropical forests in Borneo. We studied 32 physical...
Article
Full-text available
Aluminium (Al) accumulation is a common trait expressed in at least 60 plant families and particularly prevalent in tropical woody plants. However, the functional significance and genetic or physiological controls on Al accumulation are currently unknown. We tested the hypothesis that differential expression of Al accumulation among wild population...
Presentation
As part of Malaysia’s commitments under Target 12 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Sabah needs to implement measures to prevent the extinction of threatened species. However, as the threat status of most plants of Sabah is largely unknown, it is difficult to gauge which species and areas should be targeted. This study focuses on the Dipterocarpac...
Poster
Habitat loss, habitat degradation and over collection are the leading causes of population declines of Orchids. Under Aichi Biodiversity Target 12, COP members are required to prevent the extinction of known threatened species by the Year 2020. However, only a small portion of the world’s Orchid flora has been evaluated for inclusion on the IUCN Re...
Poster
Land conversion is a major threat to Sabah’s plant diversity. Endemic species are particularly at risk due to their restricted distributions. Sabah has more than 1000 taxa of endemic plants, and understanding their distribution is crucial for their conservation. This study aims to model the distribution of Sabah’s 475 species of endemic trees and s...
Poster
Full-text available
Wood anatomical traits serve multiple ecological functions such as structural stability, nutrient storage and water conductance. Vessel traits may determine the response of trees to disturbance, such as selective logging which affected vast areas of pristine forests in Borneo and which has been shown to change abiotic conditions. Vessel traits can...