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Lasky J.R.,University of Texas at Austin | Sun I.-F.,National Dong Hwa University | Su S.-H.,Taiwan Forestry Research Institute | Chen Z.-S.,National Taiwan University | Keitt T.H.,University of Texas at Austin
Journal of Ecology | Year: 2013

Individual performance is a function of an individual's traits and its environment. This function, known as an environmental filter, varies in space and affects community composition. However, filters are poorly characterized because dispersal patterns can obscure environmental effects, and few studies utilize longitudinal data linking individual performance to environment. We model the effects of environmental filters on demographic rates of nearly all tree species (99) in a 25-ha subtropical rain forest plot. We develop a hierarchical Bayesian model of environmental filtering, drawing inspiration from classic studies of intraspecific natural selection. We characterize the specific environmental gradients and trait axes most important in filtering of demographic rates across species. We found that stronger filtering along a given trait axis corresponded to less spatial variation in the value of favoured traits. Environmental gradients associated with filtering were different for growth versus survivorship. Species maximum height was under the strongest filtering for growth, with shorter species favoured on convex ridges. Shorter stature species may be favoured on ridges because trees on ridges experience higher wind damage and lower soil moisture. Wood density filtering had the strongest effects on survival. Steep slopes and high available P in the soil favoured species with low-density wood. Such sites may be favourable for fast-growing species that exploit resource-rich environments. Synthesis: We characterized trait-mediated environmental filters that may underlie spatial niche differentiation and life-history trade-offs, which can promote species coexistence. Filtering along trait axes with the strongest effects on local community composition, that is, traits with the strongest filtering, may necessarily have a weaker potential to promote species coexistence across the plot. The weak spatial variation in filters with strong effects on demography may result from long-term processes affecting the species pool that favour habitat generalist strategies. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society. Source

Kuo L.-Y.,National Taiwan University | Li F.-W.,National Taiwan University | Li F.-W.,Duke University | Chiou W.-L.,Taiwan Forestry Research Institute | Wang C.-N.,National Taiwan University
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2011

MatK, the only maturase gene in the land plant plastid genome, is a very popular phylogenetic marker that has been extensively applied in reconstructing angiosperm phylogeny. However, the use of matK in fern phylogeny is largely unknown, due to difficulties with amplification: ferns have lost the flanking trnK exons, typically the region used for designing stable priming sites. We developed primers that are either universal or lineage-specific that successfully amplify matK across all fern families. To evaluate whether matK is as powerful a phylogenetic marker in ferns as in angiosperms, we compared its sequence characteristics and phylogenetic performance to those of rbcL and atpA. Among these three genes, matK has the highest variability and substitution evenness, yet shows the least homoplasy. Most importantly, applying matK in fern phylogenetics better resolved relationships among families, especially within eupolypods I and II. Here we demonstrate the power of matK for fern phylogenetic reconstruction, as well as provide primers and extensive sequence data that will greatly facilitate future evolutionary studies of ferns. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Wang Y.-C.,Chinese Culture University | Lin J.-C.,Taiwan Forestry Research Institute
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2012

Air pollution control is an important aspect of environmental protection in Taiwan. In 1995, Taiwan's government began, via afforestation, to establish air quality enhancement zones (AQEZs) in order to promote multiple environmental benefits, including improved air quality, increased carbon sequestration, and enhanced environmental quality of life. In 2010, there were over 504 such zones. In addition to providing urban forests and green spaces, tree growth in AQEZs can sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide and, by shading and evapotranspiration, reduce energy demand and increase soil storage of organic carbon. In addition, afforestation can offset the carbon footprint of the world's population and is one of the best approaches to implementing carbon neutrality. The purpose of this study was to analyze the carbon reduction benefits of afforested AQEZs. Investigations of 48 AQEZs showed (1) a high diversity of trees planted (168 species), (2) an average density of trees of 1142/ha, (3) a forest timber volume of 23.92m 3/ha, lower than in standard plantations, (4) a carbon storage capacity of 9.25tons/ha, and (5) average annual carbon sequestration of 1.34ton-C/ha/yr. Carbon sequestration by AQEZs in Taiwan, although not remarkably high, is nevertheless, along with other ecosystem services provided by AQEZs, a significant and direct benefit to the urban public. This study provides a reliable basis of measureable results with which decision makers can evaluate benefits of urban forest carbon sequestration. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Porter J.H.,University of Virginia | Hanson P.C.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Lin C.-C.,Taiwan Forestry Research Institute
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2012

Developments in sensor design, electronics, computer technology and networking have converged to provide new ways of collecting environmental data at rates hitherto impossible to achieve. To translate this 'data deluge' into scientific knowledge requires comparable advances in our ability to integrate, process and analyze massive data sets. We review the experience of one large project in ingesting and analyzing sensor data from global lakes and provide a synopsis of innovative approaches being used to confront the information management and analytical challenges posed by massive volumes of data. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Hsu T.-C.,Taiwan Forestry Research Institute | Kuo C.-M.,National Taiwan University
Annales Botanici Fennici | Year: 2011

A new species, Gastrodia albida T.C. Hsu & C.M. Kuo (Orchidaceae), is described and illustrated from Taiwan. Gastrodia albida is closely related to G. theana but differs by having a perianth tube indistincy striate outside, larger and oblong-ovate petals, narrower lip with truncate base, and by the absence of a rostellum. Gastrodia albida is predicted to be self-pollinated based on the morphological and ecological features. © Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board. Source

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