Next Article in Journal
Spatial Patterns and Short-term Changes of Coral Assemblages Along a Cross-shelf Gradient in the Southwestern Lagoon of New Caledonia
Previous Article in Journal
The Effects of Temperature on the Turnover of δ18O and δD in Juvenile Corn Snakes (Elaphe guttata): A Novel Study with Ecological Implications
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Diversity 2019, 11(2), 20;

Investigation of the Peninsula Effect Using the Latitudinal Abundance Pattern for Tree Species in Florida

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
PDF [886 KB, uploaded 1 February 2019]


The peninsula effect is a biological diversity pattern found in peninsulas in which the number of species decreases toward the tip of the peninsula. The geometry hypothesis, as one proposed cause of the peninsula effect, attempts to predict this pattern by examining the peculiarities of peninsular geometry. As peninsulas are characterized by their isolated positions, it has been suggested that a decreased immigration-to-extinction rate is the cause of the decrease in species diversity from the base to the tip of a peninsula. We aimed to test the geometry hypothesis on tree species in the Florida peninsula by modeling the latitudinal abundance pattern using sample-based tree inventory data. We postulated that the current abundance distribution of a species is a ramification of past immigration–extinction dynamics in a peninsula, as well as an important indicator of such dynamics in the future. The latitudinal abundance patterns of 113 tree species in Florida in the southeastern United States were simulated with the Huisman–Olff–Fresco (HOF) model using the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database. Evidence species for the geometry hypothesis were then selected if the simulated latitudinal abundance pattern was asymmetric with its abundance maxima occurring within the Florida peninsula (i.e., approximately 31.5° latitude or lower). Our HOF model results found that most species (87% of 113 species) did not experience any steep abundance decline along the Florida peninsula when compared with their general trend across the range, suggesting that the observed diversity pattern of tree species in Florida could merely be a continuation of latitudinal diversity gradients in the southeastern United States, independent of peninsular geometry. View Full-Text
Keywords: peninsular effect; tree species richness; abundance; FIA; HOF model peninsular effect; tree species richness; abundance; FIA; HOF model

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kwon, Y.; Feng, L. Investigation of the Peninsula Effect Using the Latitudinal Abundance Pattern for Tree Species in Florida. Diversity 2019, 11, 20.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Diversity EISSN 1424-2818 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top