|Title||Interactive effects of flooding and forest gap formation on tree composition and abundance in the Peruvian Amazon|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Keywords||Valencia et al. (2004)|
In order to better understand how flooding and gap formation affect Amazonian rainforests, I set up plots both in three major forest types that differed by flooding duration (referred to here as dry, wet, very wet) and in their respective gaps. Sampling of those plots after 4 years of regeneration showed: (1) common species exist between wet forests and their gaps and between wet and very wet gaps, (2) tree richness is maximum in dry forest and minimum in very wet gaps except in the wet gaps that show the second highest number of species, (3) there were less stems in gaps compared to forests and less stems in forests as flooding increased, except again in the wet gaps, and (4) dominance-diversity curves have more dominance by single species in the dry gap plots compared to other gaps and in dry forest compared to other forests. In general while some aspects of structure such as tree stem density is largely determined by tree-fall gap dynamics, tree composition is determined by flooding regime. Finally a jump in tree richness in wet forests and wet gaps compared to other plots suggests a “mass effects” hypothesis where species from dry and very wet forest and gaps have overlapping ranges in the wet forest and gap. This effect may help explain the high species diversity seen in this part of the Amazon.