Understanding different dominance patterns in western Amazonian forests

Laura Matas‐Granados*, Frederick C. Draper, Luis Cayuela, Julia G. de Aledo, Gabriel Arellano, Celina Ben Saadi, Timothy R. Baker, Oliver L. Phillips, Eurídice N. Honorio Coronado, Kalle Ruokolainen, Roosevelt García‐Villacorta, Katherine H. Roucoux, Maximilien Guèze, Elvis Valderrama Sandoval, Paul V. A. Fine, Carlos A. Amasifuen Guerra, Ricardo Zarate Gomez, Pablo R. Stevenson Diaz, Abel Monteagudo‐Mendoza, Rodolfo Vasquez MartinezJacob B. Socolar, Mathias Disney, Jhon del Aguila Pasquel, Gerardo Flores Llampazo, Jim Vega Arenas, José Reyna Huaymacari, Julio M. Grandez Rios, Manuel J. Macía

*Corresponding author for this work

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Dominance of neotropical tree communities by a few species is widely documented, but dominant trees show a variety of distributional patterns still poorly understood. Here, we used 503 forest inventory plots (93,719 individuals ≥2.5 cm diameter, 2609 species) to explore the relationships between local abundance, regional frequency and spatial aggregation of dominant species in four main habitat types in western Amazonia. Although the abundance-occupancy relationship is positive for the full dataset, we found that among dominant Amazonian tree species, there is a strong negative relationship between local abundance and regional frequency and/or spatial aggregation across habitat types. Our findings suggest an ecological trade-off whereby dominant species can be locally abundant (local dominants) or regionally widespread (widespread dominants), but rarely both (oligarchs). Given the importance of dominant species as drivers of diversity and ecosystem functioning, unravelling different dominance patterns is a research priority to direct conservation efforts in Amazonian forests.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEcology Letters
VolumeEarly View
Early online date18 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Dec 2023


  • Specialist
  • Environmental filters
  • Generalist
  • Spatial aggregation
  • Species competition
  • Dominant species
  • Ecological specialization
  • Dispersal limitation
  • Tropical tree communities
  • Abundance‐occupancy relationship


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  • Understanding different dominance patterns in western Amazonian forests (all versions - software)

    Matas-Granados, L. (Creator), Draper, F. C. (Creator), Cayuela, L. (Creator), de Aledo, J. G. (Creator), Saadi, C. B. (Creator), Arellano, G. (Creator), Baker, T. R. (Creator), Phillips, O. L. (Creator), Honorio Coronado, E. N. (Creator), Ruokolainen, K. (Creator), García-Villacorta, R. (Creator), Roucoux, K. (Creator), Guèze, M. (Creator), Valderrama Sandoval, E. (Creator), Fine, P. V. A. (Creator), Amasifuen Guerra, C. A. (Creator), Zarate Gomez, R. (Creator), Stevenson Diaz, P. R. (Creator), Monteagudo-Mendoza, A. (Creator), Vasquez Martínez, R. (Creator), Disney, M. (Creator), del Aguila Pasquel, J. (Creator), Socolar, J. B. (Creator), Flores Llampazo, G. (Creator), Vega Arenas, J. (Creator), Reyna Huaymacari, J. (Creator), Grandez Rios, J. M. (Creator) & Macía, M. J. (Creator), Zenodo, 2023

    Dataset: Software

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