Jonathan A. Myers

Jonathan A. Myers
Washington University in St. Louis | WUSTL , Wash U · Department of Biology

PhD

About

125
Publications
55,170
Reads
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5,690
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2018 - present
Washington University in St. Louis
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2012 - June 2018
Washington University in St. Louis
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
May 2010 - June 2012
Tyson Research Center, Washington University in St. Louis
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
January 2005 - May 2010
Louisiana State University
Field of study
  • Ecology
January 2003 - March 2003
Organization for Tropical Studies
Field of study
  • Tropical Biology: An Ecological Approach
September 2002 - December 2004
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Botany & Ecology

Publications

Publications (125)
Article
Full-text available
A major challenge in ecology, conservation and global-change biology is to understand why biodiversity responds differently to similar environmental changes. Contingent biodiversity responses may depend on how disturbance and dispersal interact to alter variation in community composition (β-diversity) and assembly mechanisms. However, quantitative...
Article
Conspecific negative density dependence is thought to maintain diversity by limiting abundances of common species. Yet the extent to which this mechanism can explain patterns of species diversity across environmental gradients is largely unknown. We examined density-dependent recruitment of seedlings and saplings and changes in local species divers...
Article
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1. Intraspecific trait variation (ITV) is hypothesized to play an important role in community assembly and the maintenance of biodiversity. However, fundamental gaps remain in our understanding of how ITV contributes to mechanisms that create spatial variation in the functional-trait composition of communities (functional β-diversity). Importantly,...
Article
Site-to-site variation in species composition (β-diversity) generally increases from low- to high-diversity regions. Although biogeographical differences in community assembly mechanisms may explain this pattern, random sampling effects can create this pattern through differences in regional species pools. Here, we compared assembly mechanisms betw...
Article
Theoretical models predict that effects of dispersal on local biodiversity are influenced by the size and composition of the species pool, as well as ecological filters that limit local species membership. We tested these predictions by conducting a meta-analysis of 28 studies encompassing 62 experiments examining effects of propagule supply (seed...
Article
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Measurement(s) Bark thickness • Leaf area • Leaf aluminium (Al) content per leaf dry mass • Specific leaf area • Leaf calcium (Ca) content per leaf dry mass • Leaf carbon (C) content per leaf dry mass • Leaf carbon (C) isotope signature (delta 13 C) • Leaf compoundness • Leaf dry mass per leaf fresh mass (leaf dry matter content, LDMC) • Leaf magne...
Article
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Lack of tree fecundity data across climatic gradients precludes the analysis of how seed supply contributes to global variation in forest regeneration and biotic interactions responsible for biodiversity. A global synthesis of raw seedproduction data shows a 250‐fold increase in seed abundance from cold‐dry to warm‐wet climates, driven primarily by...
Article
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The relationships that control seed production in trees are fundamental to understanding the evolution of forest species and their capacity to recover from increasing losses to drought, fire, and harvest. A synthesis of fecundity data from 714 species worldwide allowed us to examine hypotheses that are central to quantifying reproduction, a foundat...
Article
Despite the importance of biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships in ecology and conservation, relatively little is known about how BEF relationships change across spatial scales. Theory predicts that change in BEF relationships with increasing spatial scale depends on variation in species composition across space (β‐diversity), but...
Article
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Significance Suitable habitats for forest trees may be shifting fast with recent climate change. Studies tracking the shift in suitable habitat for forests have been inconclusive, in part because responses in tree fecundity and seedling establishment can diverge. Analysis of both components at a continental scale reveals a poleward migration of nor...
Article
Allometric equations for calculation of tree aboveground biomass (AGB) form the basis for estimates of forest carbon storage and exchange with the atmosphere. While standard models exist to calculate forest biomass across the tropics, we lack a standardized tool for computing AGB across boreal and temperate regions that comprise the global extratro...
Article
Despite its importance for forest regeneration, food webs, and human economies, changes in tree fecundity with tree size and age remain largely unknown. The allometric increase with tree diameter assumed in ecological models would substantially overestimate seed contributions from large trees if fecundity eventually declines with size. Current esti...
Article
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Recent studies have demonstrated that ecological processes that shape community structure and dynamics change along environmental gradients. However, much less is known about how the emergence of the gradients themselves shape the evolution of species that underlie community assembly. In this study, we address how the creation of novel environments...
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
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Plant diversity varies immensely over large-scale gradients in temperature, precipitation, and seasonality at global and regional scales. This relationship may be driven in part by climatic variation in the relative importance of abiotic and biotic interactions to the diversity and composition of plant communities. In particular, biotic interaction...
Article
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It is largely unknown how South America's Andean forests affect the global carbon cycle, and thus regulate climate change. Here, we measure aboveground carbon dynamics over the past two decades in 119 monitoring plots spanning a range of >3000 m elevation across the subtropical and tropical Andes. Our results show that Andean forests act as strong...
Article
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Aim We examined tree beta‐diversity in four biogeographical regions with contrasting environmental conditions, latitude, and diversity. We tested: (1) the influence of the species pool on beta‐diversity; (2) the relative contribution of niche‐based and dispersal‐based assembly to beta‐diversity; and (3) differences in the importance of these two as...
Preprint
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Research in environmental science relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature at around 2 meter above ground1-3. These climatic grids however fail to reflect conditions near and below the soil surface, where critical ecosystem functions such as soil carbon storage are controlled and most biodiversity resides4-8...
Article
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22025-2
Article
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Indirect climate effects on tree fecundity that come through variation in size and growth (climate-condition interactions) are not currently part of models used to predict future forests. Trends in species abundances predicted from meta-analyses and species distribution models will be misleading if they depend on the conditions of individuals. Here...
Article
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Recent studies showing bias in the measurement of density dependence have the potential to sow confusion in the field of ecology. We provide clarity by elucidating key conceptual and statistical errors with null-model approaches used in recent studies of density dependence. Importantly, we show that neither a relabeling null model nor a more biolog...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biogeographic events occurring in the deep past can contribute to the structure of modern ecological communities. However, little is known about how the emergence of environmental gradients shape the evolution of species that underlie community assembly. In this study, we address how the creation of novel environments lead to community assembly via...
Article
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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
Understanding how abiotic disturbance and biotic interactions determine pollinator and flowering‐plant diversity is critically important given global climate change and widespread pollinator declines. To predict responses of pollinators and flowering‐plant communities to changes in wildfire disturbance, a mechanistic understanding of how these two...
Article
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Plant-soil feedback studies attempt to understand the interplay between composition of plant and soil microbial communities. A growing body of literature suggests that plant species can coexist when they interact with a subset of the soil microbial community that impacts plant performance. Most studies focus on the microbial community in the soil r...
Article
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Aim Ecological niches shape species commonness and rarity, yet, the relative importance of different niche mechanisms within and across ecosystems remains unresolved. We tested the influence of niche breadth (range of environmental conditions where species occur) and niche position (marginality of a species’ environmental distribution relative to t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent studies showing bias in the measurement of density dependence have the potential to sow confusion in the field of ecology. We provide clarity by elucidating key conceptual and statistical errors with the null-model approach used in Detto et al. (2019). We show that neither their null model nor a more biologically-appropriate null model repro...
Article
Full-text available
1.Fire is a powerful ecological and evolutionary force that regulates organismal traits, population sizes, species interactions, community composition, carbon and nutrient cycling, and ecosystem function. It also presents a rapidly growing societal challenge, due to both increasingly destructive wildfires and fire exclusion in fire‐dependent ecosys...
Article
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Biodiversity often stabilizes aggregate ecosystem properties (e.g. biomass) at small spatial scales. However, the importance of species diversity within communities and variation in species composition among communities (β-diversity) for stability at larger scales remains unclear. Using a continental-scale analysis of 1657 North American breeding-b...
Article
Whether global change will drive changing forests from net carbon (C) sinks to sources relates to how quickly deadwood decomposes. Because complete wood mineralization takes years, most experiments focus on how traits, environments and decomposer communities interact as wood decay begins. Few experiments last long enough to test whether drivers cha...
Article
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Wildfire regimes are changing in the western United States, yet the ways in which wildfires influence native bees, the resources they depend on for food and nesting, or the traits that influence their interactions with plants are poorly understood. In burned and unburned areas in Montana, USA, we investigated the abundance and diversity of native b...
Preprint
Full-text available
Deadwood is a large aboveground carbon (C) pool that regulates how forests respond to global change. Due to slow decomposition, CWD delays C emissions following major forest disturbances so predicting how carbon balance will respond to changing disturbance regimes requires identifying factors that influence the full temporal trajectory of wood deca...
Article
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Symbiotic nitrogen (N)‐fixing trees can provide large quantities of new N to ecosystems, but only if they are sufficiently abundant. The overall abundance and latitudinal abundance distributions of N‐fixing trees are well characterised in the Americas, but less well outside the Americas. Here, we characterised the abundance of N‐fixing trees in a n...
Article
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Aims It has been well demonstrated that several interacting endogenous and exogenous factors influence decomposition. However, teasing apart the direct and indirect effects of these factors to predict decomposition patterns in heterogenous landscapes remains a key challenge. Methods At 157 locations in a temperate forest, we measured decomposition...
Article
1.Species‐specific herbivores are hypothesized to maintain plant diversity by preventing the dominance of any one plant species. However, a large proportion of herbivores have wide host ranges, and these generalists could have similar effects on plant community composition if they exhibit differences in their host preference. Here, we coupled lab a...
Article
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Foundation species define and structure ecological communities but are difficult to identify before they are declining. Yet, their defining role in ecosystems suggests they should be a high priority for protection and management while they are still common and abundant. We used comparative analyses of six large forest dynamics plots spanning a temp...
Article
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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
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Hülsmann and Hartig suggest that ecological mechanisms other than specialized natural enemies or intraspecific competition contribute to our estimates of conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). To address their concern, we show that our results are not the result of a methodological artifact and present a null-model analysis that demonstrat...
Article
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Chisholm and Fung claim that our method of estimating conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD) in recruitment is systematically biased, and present an alternative method that shows no latitudinal pattern in CNDD. We demonstrate that their approach produces strongly biased estimates of CNDD, explaining why they do not detect a latitudinal patt...
Article
Aim To examine the contribution of large‐diameter trees to biomass, stand structure, and species richness across forest biomes. Location Global. Time period Early 21st century. Major taxa studied Woody plants. Methods We examined the contribution of large trees to forest density, richness and biomass using a global network of 48 large (from 2 t...
Article
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The lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum Linnaeus (Ixodida: Ixodidae), is emerging as an important human disease vector in the United States. While some recent studies have modeled broad-scale (regional or county-level) distribution patterns of A. americanum, less is known about how local-scale habitat characteristics drive A. americanum abundance....
Article
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Despite decades of research on the species-pool concept and the recent explosion of interest in trait-based frameworks in ecology and biogeography, surprisingly little is known about how spatial and temporal changes in species-pool functional diversity (SPFD) influence biodiversity and the processes underlying community assembly. Current trait-base...
Article
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Spatial patterning is a key natural history attribute of sessile organisms that frequently emerges from and dictates potential for interactions among organisms. We tested whether bunchgrasses, the dominant plant functional group in longleaf pine savanna groundcover communities, are nonrandomly patterned by characterizing the spatial dispersion of t...
Article
Patterns of spatial community dissimilarity have inspired a large body of theory in ecology and biogeography. Yet key gaps remain in our understanding of the local-scale ecological processes underlying species replacement and species nestedness, the two fundamental components of spatial community dissimilarity. Here, we examined the relative influe...
Presentation
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Background/Question/Methods A key challenge in ecology is to understand how changes in primary productivity alter spatial variation in community composition (β-diversity). Yet β-diversity often shows variable responses to productivity. Such variability could reflect shifts in the relative importance of assembly processes—dispersal, ecological drift...
Article
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Regional species diversity generally increases with primary productivity whereas local diversity–productivity relationships are highly variable. This scale-dependence of the biodiversity–productivity relationship highlights the importance of understanding the mechanisms that govern variation in species composition among local communities, which is...
Article
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Theory predicts that higher biodiversity in the tropics is maintained by specialized interactions among plants and their natural enemies that result in conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). By using more than 3000 species and nearly 2.4 million trees across 24 forest plots worldwide, we show that global patterns in tree species diversity...
Article
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Environmental filtering—abiotic and biotic constraints on the demographic performance of individual organisms—is a widespread mechanism of selection in communities. A given individual is “filtered out” (i.e., selectively removed) when environmental conditions or disturbances like fires preclude its survival and reproduction. Although interactions b...
Article
A key challenge in ecology and conservation is to determine how processes at different scales create variation in community composition (β-diversity). In this issue, Oldén & Halme show that grazers increase β-diversity through multiple processes at different scales. We discuss how β-diversity can elucidate fundamental processes of community assembl...
Article
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http://www.sciencejournalforkids.org/articles/what-kind-of-fungus-are-you
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods: Conspecific negative density dependence is thought to maintain diversity by limiting abundances of common species. Yet the strength of conspecific negative density dependence on a per-neighbor basis can be stronger for rare species, and the extent to which this mechanism can explain patterns of species diversity across...
Conference Paper
Background: Changes in species diversity across temperate and tropical ecosystems are among the most striking patterns of global biodiversity. Yet the processes that underlie these patterns remain debated. One leading hypothesis is that geographic variation in niche-assembly mechanisms results in higher diversity in the tropics. Theory predicts tha...
Article
The analysis of spatial patterns in species-environment relationships can provide new insights into the niche requirements and potential co-occurrence of species, but species abundance and environmental data are routinely collected at different spatial scales. Here, we investigate the use of codispersion analysis to measure and assess the scale, di...
Article
Full-text available
A central challenge in global ecology is the identification of key functional processes in ecosystems that scale, but do not require, data for individual species across landscapes. Given that nearly all tree species form symbiotic relationships with one of two types of mycorrhizal fungi—arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi—an...