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Award Abstract #1354741

Dimensions IRCN: Diversity and Forest Change: Characterizing functional, phylogenetic and genetic contributions to diversity gradients and dynamics in tree communities

Division Of Environmental Biology
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Initial Amendment Date: September 7, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: September 7, 2013
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Award Number: 1354741
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Simon Malcomber
DEB Division Of Environmental Biology
BIO Direct For Biological Sciences
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Start Date: April 30, 2013
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End Date: August 31, 2016 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $443,010.00
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Investigator(s): Stuart Davies daviess@si.edu (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Smithsonian Institution
Office of Sponsored Projects
Arlington, VA 22202-3709 (202)633-7110
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NSF Program(s): Dimensions of Biodiversity
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Program Reference Code(s): 1664, 7968, 9169, EGCH
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Program Element Code(s): 7968


This project will establish an international research coordination network that combines two existing forest networks in the United States with a set of forest plots in China, to advance understanding of how tree biodiversity determines the functional aspects of forests, and to test hypotheses concerning the resilience of forests to global change. Together these networks maintain 24 large-scale forest plots in tropical and temperate forests in Asia and the Americas, providing data on the demography, functional traits, phylogenetic relatedness and environmental preferences of thousands of tree species. Through a series of symposia, analytical workshops and international scientific exchanges, these data will be used to ask: what functional traits underlie species distributions across environmental gradients; how functional traits and phylogenetic relatedness of communities link to forest function; how functional traits and environmental tolerances vary among individuals within species; and how gene flow contributes to genetic diversity at local and regional scales. By combining long-term temperate and tropical forest studies across entire tree communities, this project will parameterize models that incorporate functional and genetic variation among species, to test predictions about current and future changes in forests. An ultimate goal is to develop detailed models of forest composition and its genetic and functional basis, to be simulated over a range of climatic predictions. This integration across multiple dimensions of biodiversity will enhance understanding of how forests are structured, a critical step towards predicting how forests will respond to global change.

This project will implement a series of capacity building and training initiatives to expand science and enhance collaboration between the United States and China. The strengthening of the network of forest research plots in Asia and the Americas will provide information crucial to determining the role of forests in a changing global environment. This project will engage numerous graduate students and early-career scientists in interdisciplinary training on taxonomic, functional and genetic dimensions of biodiversity and ecosystem processes. An exchange program will enable students and early-career researchers from the United States to spend 3 months in collaborating institutions in China. Chinese scientists will have similar opportunities in the United States through parallel funding provided by NSF-China. In addition, the scientific workshops will result in the development of new analytical tools and data compilations that will be made openly available through the web.


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Pearse, WD, FA Jones, and A Purvis. "Barro Colorado Island?s phylogenetic assemblage structure across fine spatial scales and among clades of different ages," Ecology, v.94, 2013, p. 2861.

Lebrija-Trejos, E., S.J. Wright, A.S Hernandez and P.B. Reich. "Does relatedness matter? Phylogenetic density-dependent survival of seedlings in a tropical forest.," Ecology, v.95, 2014, p. 940.

Xu, H., Detto, M., Fang, S., Li, Y., Zang, R., Liu, S.. "Habitat hotspots of common and rare tropical species along climatic and edaphic gradients," Journal of Ecology, v.103, 2015, p. 1325?1333.

Xu Han, Liu Shirong, Li Yide, Zang Runguo and He Fangliang. "Assessing non-parametric and area-based methods for estimating regional species richness," Journal of Vegetation Science, v.23, 2012.

Kenfack D., Chuyong G.B., Condit R., Russo S.E. & Thomas D.. "Demographic variation and habitat specialization of tree species in a diverse tropical forest of Cameroon," Forest Ecosystems, v.1, 2014, p. 22.

Bai, X., Brenes-Arguedas, T., Ye, J., Wang, X., Lin, F., Yuan, Z., Shi, S., Xing, D., and Hao, Z.. "Dynamics of Two Multi-Stemmed Understory Shrubs in Two Temperate Forests.," PLoS ONE, v.9, 2014, p. e98200.

Yang, J., N.G. Swenson, G. Zhang, X. Ci, M. Cao, L. Sha, J. Li, J.W. Slim, and L. Lin. "Local-scale partitioning of functional and phylogenetic beta diversity in a tropical tree assemblage," Scientific Reports, v.5, 2015, p. 12731.

Shen, Guochun, Thorsten Wiegand, Xiangcheng Mi and Fangliang He. "Quantifying spatial phylogenetic structures of fully stem-mapped plant communities. Methods in Ecology and Evolution," Methods in Ecology and Evolution, v.4, 2013, p. 1132- 114.

Cao, Ke, Mide Rao, Jianzhong Yu, Xiaojuan Liu, Xiangcheng Mi and Jianhua Chen. "The phylogenetic signal of functional traits and their effects on community structure in an evergreen broad-leaved forest.," Biodiversity Sciences, v.21, 2013, p. 564.

Wang, Q., Xu, Y., Lu, Z., Bao, D., Guo, Y., Lu, J., Zhang, K., Liu, H., Meng, H., Qiao, X., Huang, H., and Jiang, M. 2014. "Disentangling the effects of topography and space on the distributions of dominant species in a subtropical forest," Chinese Science Bulletin, 2014.

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