John Terborgh

John Terborgh
Duke University | DU · Center for Tropical Conservation

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328
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (328)
Article
Water availability is the major driver of tropical forest structure and dynamics. Most research has focused on the impacts of climatic water availability, whereas remarkably little is known about the influence of water table depth and excess soil water on forest processes. Nevertheless, given that plants take up water from the soil, the impacts of...
Article
Full-text available
Despite increasing attention for relationships between species richness and ecosystem services, for tropical forests such relationships are still under discussion. Contradicting relationships have been reported concerning carbon stock, while little is known about relationships concerning timber stock and the abundance of non-timber forest product p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Phenology has long been hypothesized as an avenue for niche partitioning or interspecific facilitation, both promoting species coexistence. Tropical plant communities exhibit striking diversity in reproductive phenology, including seasonal patterns of fruit production. Here we study whether this phenological diversity is non-random, what are the te...
Preprint
Full-text available
In a time of rapid global change, the question of what determines patterns in species abundance distribution remains a priority for understanding the complex dynamics of ecosystems. The constrained maximization of information entropy provides a framework for the understanding of such complex systems dynamics by a quantitative analysis of important...
Article
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20537-x
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
Article
Full-text available
Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, but the estimated species richness is very much debated. Here, we apply an ensemble of parametric estimators and a novel technique that includes conspecific spatial aggregation to an extended database of forest plots with up-to-date taxonomy. We show that the species abundance distribution of Amazonia...
Article
Full-text available
Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, but the estimated species richness is very much debated. Here, we apply an ensemble of parametric estimators and a novel technique that includes conspecific spatial aggregation to an extended database of forest plots with up-to-date taxonomy. We show that the species abundance distribution of Amazonia...
Article
Full-text available
Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, but the estimated species richness is very much debated. Here, we apply an ensemble of parametric estimators and a novel technique that includes conspecific spatial aggregation to an extended database of forest plots with up-to-date taxonomy. We show that the species abundance distribution of Amazonia...
Article
Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, but the estimated species richness is very much debated. Here, we apply an ensemble of parametric estimators and a novel technique that includes conspecific spatial aggregation to an extended database of forest plots with up-to-date taxonomy. We show that the species abundance distribution of Amazonia...
Article
Full-text available
Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, but the estimated species richness is very much debated. Here, we apply an ensemble of parametric estimators and a novel technique that includes conspecific spatial aggregation to an extended database of forest plots with up-to-date taxonomy. We show that the species abundance distribution of Amazonia...
Article
Full-text available
1. Bushmeat hunting has reduced population sizes of large frugivorous vertebrates throughout the tropics, thereby reducing the dispersal of seeds. This is believed to affect tree population dynamics, and therefore community composition, because the seed dispersal of large-seeded trees depends upon large-bodied vertebrates. 2. We report on a long-ru...
Article
Full-text available
Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, but the estimated species richness is very much debated. Here, we apply an ensemble of parametric estimators and a novel technique that includes conspecific spatial aggregation to an extended database of forest plots with up-to-date taxonomy. We show that the species abundance distribution of Amazonia...
Article
Full-text available
Higher levels of taxonomic and evolutionary diversity are expected to maximize ecosystem function, yet their relative importance in driving variation in ecosystem function at large scales in diverse forests is unknown. Using 90 inventory plots across intact, lowland, terra firme, Amazonian forests and a new phylogeny including 526 angiosperm genera...
Article
Full-text available
Higher levels of taxonomic and evolutionary diversity are expected to maximize ecosystem function, yet their relative importance in driving variation in ecosystem function at large scales in diverse forests is unknown. Using 90 inventory plots across intact, lowland, terra firme, Amazonian forests and a new phylogeny including 526 angiosperm genera...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are known for their high diversity. Yet, forest patches do occur in the tropics where a single tree species is dominant. Such “monodominant” forests are known from all of the main tropical regions. For Amazonia, we sampled the occurrence of monodominance in a massive, basin-wide database of forest-inventory plots from the Amazon Tr...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are known for their high diversity. Yet, forest patches do occur in the tropics where a single tree species is dominant. Such “monodominant” forests are known from all of the main tropical regions. For Amazonia, we sampled the occurrence of monodominance in a massive, basin-wide database of forest-inventory plots from the Amazon Tr...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are known for their high diversity. Yet, forest patches do occur in the tropics where a single tree species is dominant. Such “monodominant” forests are known from all of the main tropical regions. For Amazonia, we sampled the occurrence of monodominance in a massive, basin-wide database of forest-inventory plots from the Amazon Tr...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are known for their high diversity. Yet, forest patches do occur in the tropics where a single tree species is dominant. Such “monodominant” forests are known from all of the main tropical regions. For Amazonia, we sampled the occurrence of monodominance in a massive, basin-wide database of forest-inventory plots from the Amazon Tr...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are known for their high diversity. Yet, forest patches do occur in the tropics where a single tree species is dominant. Such “monodominant” forests are known from all of the main tropical regions. For Amazonia, we sampled the occurrence of monodominance in a massive, basin-wide database of forest-inventory plots from the Amazon Tr...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are known for their high diversity. Yet, forest patches do occur in the tropics where a single tree species is dominant. Such “monodominant” forests are known from all of the main tropical regions. For Amazonia, we sampled the occurrence of monodominance in a massive, basin-wide database of forest-inventory plots from the Amazon Tr...
Article
Tropical forests are known for their high diversity. Yet, forest patches do occur in the tropics where a single tree species is dominant. Such "monodominant" forests are known from all of the main tropical regions. For Amazonia, we sampled the occurrence of monodominance in a massive, basin-wide database of forest-inventory plots from the Amazon Tr...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are known for their high diversity. Yet, forest patches do occur in the tropics where a single tree species is dominant. Such "monodominant" forests are known from all of the main tropical regions. For Amazonia, we sampled the occurrence of monodominance in a massive, basin-wide database of forest-inventory plots from the Amazon Tr...
Article
Full-text available
Climate, species composition, and soils are thought to control carbon cycling and forest structure in Amazonian forests. Here, we add a demographics scheme (tree recruitment, growth, and mortality) to a recently developed non-demographic model—the Trait-based Forest Simulator (TFS)—to explore the roles of climate and plant traits in controlling for...
Article
Full-text available
We monitored a close‐spaced grid of 289 seed traps in 1.44 ha for 8.4 years in an Amazonian floodplain forest. In a tree community containing hundreds of species, a median of just 3‐4 species of tree seeds falls annually into each 0.5 m2 establishment site. The number of seed species reaching a given site increased linearly with time for the durati...
Article
Full-text available
Most of the planet's diversity is concentrated in the tropics, which includes many regions undergoing rapid climate change. Yet, while climate-induced biodiversity changes are widely documented elsewhere, few studies have addressed this issue for lowland tropical ecosystems. Here we investigate whether the floristic and functional composition of in...
Article
Full-text available
Explaining the maintenance of tropical forest diversity under the countervailing forces of drift and competition poses a major challenge to ecological theory. Janzen−Connell effects, in which host-specific natural enemies restrict the recruitment of juveniles near conspecific adults, provide a potential mechanism. Janzen−Connell is strongly support...
Data
Belongs to paper Species Distribution Modelling: Contrasting presence-only models with plot abundance data by Gomes et al.
Data
Comparing the results of modelling the area of occupancy with MaxEnt and with inverse distance weighting (IDW). Analysis results for the predicted area of occupancy as calculated by Maxent and IDW methods. The analyses were conducted for 170 of all 227 hyperdominant species that had MaxEnt’s predicted environmental suitability significantly differ...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used in ecology and conservation. Presence-only SDMs such as MaxEnt frequently use natural history collections (NHCs) as occurrence data, given their huge numbers and accessibility. NHCs are often spatially biased which may generate inaccuracies in SDMs. Here, we test how the distribution of NHCs and Ma...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used in ecology and conservation. Presence-only SDMs such as MaxEnt frequently use natural history collections (NHCs) as occurrence data, given their huge numbers and accessibility. NHCs are often spatially biased which may generate inaccuracies in SDMs. Here, we test how the distribution of NHCs and Ma...
Article
1.Declines of large vertebrates in tropical forests may reduce dispersal of tree species that rely on them, and the resulting undispersed seedlings might suffer increased distance- and density- dependent mortality. Consequently, extirpation of large vertebrates may alter the composition and spatial structure of plant communities and impair ecosyste...
Article
Full-text available
Megaherbivores are known to influence the structure, composition, and diversity of vegetation. In Central Africa, forest elephants act as ecological filters by breaking tree saplings and stripping them of foliage. Much less is known about impacts of megafauna on Southeast Asian rain forests. Here, we ask whether herbivory by Asian megafauna has imp...
Article
Within the tropics, the species richness of tree communities is strongly and positively associated with precipitation. Previous research has suggested that this macroecological pattern is driven by the negative effect of water‐stress on the physiological processes of most tree species. This implies that the range limits of taxa are defined by their...
Article
Full-text available
The extent to which pre-Columbian societies altered Amazonian landscapes is hotly debated. We performed a basin-wide analysis of pre-Columbian impacts on Amazonian forests by overlaying known archaeological sites in Amazonia with the distributions and abundances of 85 woody species domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples. Domesticated species are fiv...
Article
Full-text available
The extent to which pre-Columbian societies altered Amazonian landscapes is hotly debated. We performed a basin-wide analysis of pre-Columbian impacts on Amazonian forests by overlaying known archaeological sites in Amazonia with the distributions and abundances of 85 woody species domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples. Domesticated species are fiv...
Article
Full-text available
In our recent perspective article, we noted that most (approximately 0 percent) terrestrial large carnivore and large herbivore species are now threatened with extinction, and we offered a 13-point declaration designed to promote and guide actions to save these iconic mammalian megafauna (Ripple et al. 2016). Some may worry that a focus on saving m...
Article
Robert T. Paine, who passed away on 13 June 2016, is among the most influential people in the history of ecology. Paine was an experimentalist, a theoretician, a practitioner and proponent of the “ecology of place”, and a deep believer in the importance of natural history to ecological understanding. His scientific legacy grew from the discovery of...
Article
Full-text available
From the late Pleistocene to the Holocene and now the so-called Anthropocene, humans have been driving an ongoing series of species declines and extinctions (Dirzo et al. 2014). Large-bodied mammals are typically at a higher risk of extinction than smaller ones (Cardillo et al. 2005). However, in some circumstances, terrestrial megafauna population...
Article
Understanding the processes that determine above-ground biomass (AGB) in Amazonian forests is important for predicting the sensitivity of these ecosystems to environmental change and for designing and evaluating dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). AGB is determined by inputs from woody productivity [woody net primary productivity (NPP)] and t...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the processes that determine aboveground biomass (AGB) in Amazonian forests is important for predicting the sensitivity of these ecosystems to environmental change and for designing and evaluating dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). AGB is determined by inputs from woody productivity (woody NPP) and the rate at which carbon is l...
Article
Full-text available
Within the tropics, the species richness of tree communities is strongly and positively associated with precipitation.Previous research has suggested that this macroecological pattern is driven by the negative effect of water-stress on thephysiological processes of most tree species. This process implies that the range limits of taxa are defined by...
Article
Understanding the processes that determine aboveground biomass (AGB) in Amazonian forests is important for predicting the sensitivity of these ecosystems to environmental change and for designing and evaluating dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). AGB is determined by inputs from woody productivity (woody NPP) and the rate at which carbon is l...
Article
The Amazon Basin has experienced more variable climate over the last decade, with a severe and widespread drought in 2005 causing large basin-wide losses of biomass. A drought of similar climatological magnitude occurred again in 2010; however, there has been no basin-wide ground-based evaluation of effects on vegetation. We examine to what extent...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the resilience of moist tropical forests to treefall disturbance events is important for understanding the mechanisms that underlie species coexistence and for predicting the future composition of these ecosystems. Here, we test whether variation in the functional composition of Amazonian forests determines their resilience to disturb...
Article
Full-text available
Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened...
Article
Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare, and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. Here we overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 40% and up to 64% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threa...