Savitri Gunatilleke's research while affiliated with University of Peradeniya and other places

Publications (33)

Article
Full-text available
1. Organisms of all species must balance their allocation to growth, survival and recruitment. Among tree species, evolution has resulted in different life‐history strategies for partitioning resources to these key demographic processes. Life‐history strategies in tropical forests have often been shown to align along a trade‐off between fast growth...
Preprint
All species must balance their allocation to growth, survival and recruitment. Among trees, evolution has resulted in different strategies of partitioning resources to these key demographic processes, i.e. demographic trade-offs. It is unclear whether the same demographic trade-offs structure tropical forests worldwide. Here, we used data from 13 l...
Article
Full-text available
Fragmented and degraded ecosystems should be restored to ensure the biological connectivity among fragmented forest landscapes. The tropical rainforests of Southwestern Sri Lanka are highly degraded and fragmented due to plantation agriculture and human settlements. However, the high spatial variation in environmental factors and ecosystem function...
Preprint
All species must balance their allocation to growth, survival and recruitment. Among trees, evolution has resulted in different strategies of partitioning resources to these key demographic processes, i.e. demographic trade-offs. It is unclear whether the same demographic trade-offs structure tropical forests worldwide. Here, we used data from 13 l...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are notable for their high species diversity, even on small spatial scales, and right-skewed species and size abundance distributions. The role of individual species as drivers of the spatial organization of diversity in these forests has been explained by several hypotheses and processes, for example, stochastic dilution, negative...
Conference Paper
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Process that maintains species diversity, species richness and species distribution are one of the central questions in ecology. There are dozens of theories proposed to explain distribution patterns of the species (e.g. Hutchison’s hyper-volume concept (1957), Mc-Arthur ‘s Broken stick model, Janzen-Connel effects, Chesson’s lottery model (1981),...
Article
Full-text available
Survival rates of large trees determine forest biomass dynamics. Survival rates of small trees have been linked to mechanisms that maintain biodiversity across tropical forests. How species survival rates change with size offers insight into the links between biodiversity and ecosystem function across tropical forests. We tested patterns of size-de...
Article
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In South Asia, south-west Sri Lanka alone represents the sole surviving perhumid region where Mixed Dipterocarp Forests (MDF) harbour a number of relict signature taxa providing evidence of ancient plant migration routes from Gondwana to perhumid Far Eastern Sunda land, at least partially via southern Laurasia. Palynological and phylogenetic eviden...
Article
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Global change is impacting forests worldwide, threatening biodiversity and ecosystem services including climate regulation. Understanding how forests respond is critical to forest conservation and climate protection. This review describes an international network of 59 long-term forest dynamics research sites (CTFS-ForestGEO) useful for characteriz...
Article
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The relationship between species richness and ecosystem function, as measured by productivity or biomass, is of long-standing theoretical and practical interest in ecology. This is especially true for forests, which represent a majority of global biomass, productivity and biodiversity. Here, we conduct an analysis of relationships between tree spec...
Article
Full-text available
The integration of ecology and evolutionary biology requires an understanding of the evolutionary lability in species' ecological niches. For tropical trees, specialization for particular soil resource and topographic conditions is an important part of the habitat niche, influencing the distributions of individual species and overall tree community...
Chapter
Fragmentation of the continuous tropical forest-scape into isolated remnant forest patches among seas of human influenced alternative landscapes is a widespread pantropical phenomenon compounded by the emerging impacts of global climate change events (Loo et al. 2011). Sri Lanka, with exceptionally rich biodiversity, particularly in its aseasonal s...
Article
Both habitat filtering and dispersal limitation influence the compositional structure of forest communities, but previous studies examining the relative contributions of these processes with variation partitioning have primarily used topography to represent the influence of the environment. Here, we bring together data on both topography and soil r...
Chapter
Full-text available
Mixed dipterocarp forests (MDF) were one of the most timber productive forests in the world. The forest region is named after the dominant canopy tree family Dipterocarpaceae within which two major genera (Dipterocarpus, Shorea) usually represent a disproportionate amount of the basal area. Compared with Latin America and Africa, MDF have much high...
Article
Full-text available
In Amazonian tropical forests, recent studies have reported increases in aboveground biomass and in primary productivity, as well as shifts in plant species composition favouring fast-growing species over slow-growing ones. This pervasive alteration of mature tropical forestswas attributed to global environmental change, such as an increase in atmo...
Data
Total Aboveground Biomass and Number of Individuals, Per Stand and Per Demographic Group Aboveground biomass is reported in Mg ha−1, number of individuals in ind. ha−1. Also reported is the total percentage of aboveground biomass (AGB) and of the number of individuals in the three demographic groups. (50 KB DOC)
Data
Quantiles of Wood Density and of Log-Transformed Seed Mass in the 12 Study Plots Wood density is defined as oven-dry weight divided by green volume, in g cm−3, seed mass is in grams. Median wood density varied between 0.53 and 0.63 g cm−3. Median seed mass varied between 0.023 and 0.33 g. (54 KB DOC)
Data
Taxonomic Identification Level and Functional Traits in the Permanent Plots The table represents the number of taxa at three identification levels: species, genus, and family. Also shown is the number of taxa for which information on wood density and on seed weight is available at the species level, at the genus level or at the family level. (48 KB...
Data
Study Plots (A) Detailed information on the 12 study plots, with an emphasis on the known disturbance history of these sites. (B) Aboveground biomass estimation and statistical analyses based on large trees only. (75 KB DOC)
Data
Full-text available
Correlation between Log-Transformed Sapling Relative Growth Rate and Log-Transformed Sapling Mortality Rate across the 12 Study Plots Both relative growth rate and mortality rate are in % y−1. Each circle represents a species-site combination, and the solid line is the first PCA axis, which captures 20% of the variation in the two variables. (178 K...
Data
Description and Environmental Characteristics of the Study Plots (52 KB DOC)
Data
Stocks and Changes in Total Aboveground Biomass for Ten Undisturbed Tropical Forest Plots Based on Trees ≥10 cm dbh This table reports total stand aboveground biomass, aboveground biomass growth rate, recruitment rate, loss rate, and net change. Bold figures indicate changes significantly different from the null hypothesis of zero change. Confidenc...
Article
Clustering at multiple critical scales may be common for plants since many different factors and processes may cause clustering. This is especially true for tropical rain forests for which theories explaining species coexistence and community structure rest heavily on spatial patterns. We used point pattern analysis to analyze the spatial structure...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests vary substantially in the densities of trees of different sizes and thus in above-ground biomass and carbon stores. However, these tree size distributions show fundamental similarities suggestive of underlying general principles. The theory of metabolic ecology predicts that tree abundances will scale as the -2 power of diameter. D...
Article
The theory of metabolic ecology predicts specific relationships among tree stem diameter, biomass, height, growth and mortality. As demographic rates are important to estimates of carbon fluxes in forests, this theory might offer important insights into the global carbon budget, and deserves careful assessment. We assembled data from 10 old-growth...
Article
Full-text available
An ecological community's species diversity tends to erode through time as a result of stochastic extinction, competitive exclusion, and unstable host-enemy dynamics. This erosion of diversity can be prevented over the short term if recruits are highly diverse as a result of preferential recruitment of rare species or, alternatively, if rare specie...
Book
Guide to virtually every tree likely to be encountered on the island, some 700 in total. Each is described in detail, covering morphology, leaf, flower and fruit, and each also has a line illustration of the leaf. There are notes on endemicity, geographical distribution, habitat, and uses.

Citations

... In disagreement with our expectation, our results showed that tree growth rate was neither related to mortality nor recruitment rate (Figure 1a,b). These findings are inconsistent with those of previous studies focusing on undisturbed forests (Gilbert et al., 2006;Kambach et al., 2022;Poorter & Bongers, 2006;Poorter et al., 2008). Our study site is a typical monsoon forest. ...
... A much smaller proportion of species (<10%) display patterns of accumulation in local neighborhoods though this proportion rises at larger neighborhood sizes to approximately the same proportion as for repellers (i.e., 10-20%). Contrasting patterns have been indicated in other tropical forests with most displaying a predominance of accumulators at local neighborhood scales (Chanthorn et al., 2018;Nguyen et al., 2018;Tsai et al., 2015;Wiegand et al., 2007), while only a few showed a predominance of repellers (Fibich et al., 2021;Wiegand et al., 2007). ...
... For example, through natural selection species have developed different strategies to acquire and allocate resources. This has resulted in a species dimension that represents the range of phenotypes among species (Díaz et al., 2016) and, thus, also the observed vital rates of individual species (Johnson et al., 2018;Rüger et al., 2018;Needham et al., 2022). Moreover, as resource availability and stressors vary along spatial and temporal dimensions, the environmental conditions of a forest also structure the vital rates of the trees, e.g. ...
... This aseasonality makes this zone the only perhumid region in all of South Asia (Ashton, 2014). The physiography of the island's Central Hills, which rise to just over 2500 m asl, is reminiscent of the Western Ghats, with mixed-dipterocarp rainforests on their western and southwestern slopes (Gunatilleke et al., 2017). The Knuckles Hills occur to the north of the Central Hills, separated from them by the Mahaweli River valley. ...
... Sri Lanka is among the renowned hot spots for biodiversity in tropical rainforests, with an estimated 70% of unique terrestrial evergreen crops. [1] However, less studies have reported on some endemic medicinal plants grown in Sri Lanka. With this in mind, the current study considered two Sri Lankan endemic plants for scientific investigation for the purpose of novel discovery and the preparation of scientific data based on the utility of scientific community. ...
... Given that the trees to be harvested will mostly be in the 40-60 cm DBH class, which is smaller than the trees harvested from primary forests, perhaps feller bunchers might be employed. And to avoid some of the costs of replanting (45% of timber production under TPTJ), a shelterwood system that takes advantage of the high stocking of reproductively mature trees of commercial species might be effective (e.g., Ashton et al., 2011). ...
... The Wanang Forest Dynamics Plot (hereinafter WFDP, Fig. 1) is part of the global ForestGEO network of forest research sites (https://fore stgeo.si.edu/) dedicated to the study of tropical and temperate forest function and diversity. The research plot was established in 2009 in a lowland rainforest in the Middle Ramu region of Madang Province in Papua New Guinea at 5.24 • S and 145.08 • E (Anderson- Teixeira et al., 2015;Vincent et al., 2015) according to the so-called Condit's (1995) protocol. ...
... Similarly, germination of spores of general, indicative fungi Cladosporium sp. was inhibited by mucilaginous extracts of D. indica. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, it is reported that mucilaginous extract of D. indica fruits has long been used in preparing shampoo to treat dandruff (Ashton et al., 1997). This further proves the presence of antifungal compounds in its mucilage. ...
... Extracted seeds were stored in closed plastic bottles until experiments were initiated within 2-3 d from seed collection, as literature indicates that species may have recalcitrant or very short-lived seeds (Umarani et al., 2015). The stratum (canopy, subcanopy, understory trees and understory shrubs) was identified by using the height information of plants based on Ashton et al. (1997) and field observations. Month of seed collection was used to determine the time of seed dispersal, which was further divided into three sessions according to rainfall data: wet (100-200 mm), super wet (200-400 mm) and peak (400-500 mm) rainy season. ...
... Studies revealed that the relationship between ecosystem functioning and species diversity can be inconsistent at different ecological scales (Chase & Leibold, 2002;Weiher, 1999). A positive relationship is generally observed for small spatial grains, whereas the BEF relationship is ambiguous for large spatial grains (Chisholm et al., 2013). This is mainly because different ecological scales differ in terms of resource competition such as soil fertility and ecological process such as disturbance and complementarity (Chave, 2013;Chisholm et al., 2013). ...