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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

The Effect of Phylogeny, Environment and Morphology on Communities of a Lianescent Clade (Bignonieae-Bignoniaceae) in Neotropical Biomes

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Alcantara, Suzana [1, 2] ; Ree, Richard H. [2] ; Martins, Fernando R. [3] ; Lohmann, Lucia G. [1]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Biociencias, Dept Bot, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Field Museum Nat Hist, Dept Bot, Chicago, IL 60605 - USA
[3] Univ Estadual Campinas UNICAMP, Inst Biol, Dept Biol Vegetal, Campinas, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 3
Document type: Journal article
Source: PLoS One; v. 9, n. 3 MAR 3 2014.
Web of Science Citations: 8

The influence of ecological traits to the distribution and abundance of species is a prevalent issue in biodiversity science. Most studies of plant community assembly have focused on traits related to abiotic aspects or direct interactions among plants, with less attention paid to ignore indirect interactions, as those mediated by pollinators. Here, we assessed the influence of phylogeny, habitat, and floral morphology on ecological community structure in a clade of Neotropical lianas (tribe Bignonieae, Bignoniaceae). Our investigation was guided by the long-standing hypothesis that habitat specialization has promoted speciation in Bignonieae, while competition for shared pollinators influences species co-occurrence within communities. We analyzed a geo-referenced database for 94 local communities occurring across the Neotropics. The effect of floral morphological traits and abiotic variables on species co-occurrence was investigated, taking into account phylogenetic relationships. Habitat filtering seems to be the main process driving community assembly in Bignonieae, with environmental conditions limiting species distributions. Differing specialization to abiotic conditions might have evolved recently, in contrast to the general pattern of phylogenetic clustering found in communities of other diverse regions. We find no evidence that competition for pollinators affects species co-occurrence; instead, pollinator occurrence seems to have acted as an ``environmental filter'' in some habitats. (AU)