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Article

Small-Scale Environmental Drivers of Plant Community Structure and Diversity in Neotropical Montane Cloud Forests Harboring Threatened Magnolia dealbata in Southern Mexico

1
Centro Universitario de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias, Departamento de Botánica y Zoología, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco 45200, Mexico
2
Centro Universitario de Ciencias Exactas e Ingenierías, Departamento de Madera, Celulosa y Papel, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco 45200, Mexico
3
Instituto Tecnológico del Valle de Oaxaca, Oaxaca 71230, Mexico
4
Instituto Tecnológico Nacional de México/ITS de Huatusco, Veracruz 94100, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(12), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120444
Received: 30 September 2020 / Revised: 11 November 2020 / Accepted: 11 November 2020 / Published: 24 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Plant Diversity at Different Scales)
Gradient analysis was used to determine factors driving small-scale variation of cloud forest communities harboring Magnolia dealbata, a threatened species and bioculturally relevant tree for the Chinantecan, Mazatecan, Nahuan, and Zapotecan ethnicities in southern Mexico. Particularly, we aimed to: (a) determine factors explaining major community gradients at different heterogeneity scales along a small-scale elevational gradient, (b) test the Decreasing and the Continuum hypotheses along elevation, and (c) classify vegetation to assist in identifying conservation priorities. We used a stratified random sampling scheme for 21 woody stands along a small-scale (352 m) elevational transect. Four main data matrices were used (presence-absence, density, basal area, and guild data). Through Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMS), Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA), and distance-based Redundancy Analysis (db-RDA), we found that major community variation was explained by soil pH, displaying an outstanding vegetation discontinuity, separating the species-rich relic Oreomunnea-Ticodendron-stands from stands with higher importance values for M. dealbata. The high species richness observed was explained by a combination of the windward effect of dry-seasonal maximum cloud condensation gain and habitat differentiation-specialization, a phenomenon that may also explain the mid-peak hypothesis and ensure the survival of relic species. Sampling-truncation and conservation status also played a role in this. Our results do not support the Decreasing and Continuum hypotheses along elevation. View Full-Text
Keywords: alpha diversity; beta diversity; Magnolia section Macrophylla; Oreomunnea; Ticodendron; cloud forest; Sierra de Juarez; Oaxaca; habitat specialization; continuum hypothesis alpha diversity; beta diversity; Magnolia section Macrophylla; Oreomunnea; Ticodendron; cloud forest; Sierra de Juarez; Oaxaca; habitat specialization; continuum hypothesis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Domínguez-Yescas, R.; Vázquez-García, J.A.; Muñiz-Castro, M.Á.; Hernández-Vera, G.; Salcedo-Pérez, E.; Rodríguez-Pérez, C.; Gallardo-Yobal, S.I. Small-Scale Environmental Drivers of Plant Community Structure and Diversity in Neotropical Montane Cloud Forests Harboring Threatened Magnolia dealbata in Southern Mexico. Diversity 2020, 12, 444. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120444

AMA Style

Domínguez-Yescas R, Vázquez-García JA, Muñiz-Castro MÁ, Hernández-Vera G, Salcedo-Pérez E, Rodríguez-Pérez C, Gallardo-Yobal SI. Small-Scale Environmental Drivers of Plant Community Structure and Diversity in Neotropical Montane Cloud Forests Harboring Threatened Magnolia dealbata in Southern Mexico. Diversity. 2020; 12(12):444. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120444

Chicago/Turabian Style

Domínguez-Yescas, Reyna, José A. Vázquez-García, Miguel Á. Muñiz-Castro, Gerardo Hernández-Vera, Eduardo Salcedo-Pérez, Ciro Rodríguez-Pérez, and Sergio I. Gallardo-Yobal. 2020. "Small-Scale Environmental Drivers of Plant Community Structure and Diversity in Neotropical Montane Cloud Forests Harboring Threatened Magnolia dealbata in Southern Mexico" Diversity 12, no. 12: 444. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120444

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