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Open AccessArticle

Phylogenetic Community and Nearest Neighbor Structure of Disturbed Tropical Rain Forests Encroached by Streblus macrophyllus

1
Department of Forest inventory and Planning, Faculty of Silviculture, Vietnam Forestry University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
2
Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, University of Tehran, Tehran 1417466191, Iran
3
Faculty of Forest Resources and Environmental Management, Vietnam Forestry University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
4
National Institute for Research-Development in Forestry ‘Marin Dracea’, Eroilor 128, 077190 Voluntari, Romania
5
College of Wood Industry and Interior Design, Vietnam Forestry University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
6
Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering, Transilvania University, Sirul Beethoven 1, ROU-500123 Brasov, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(7), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11070722
Received: 13 May 2020 / Revised: 24 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
Although woody plant encroachment of tropical forest ecosystems has been related to altered disturbance regimes, its impacts on the nearest neighborhood structures and community phylogenetics are still poorly understood. Streblus macrophyllus is a light-demanding species during its early life stages and is shade-tolerant as a mature tree. S. macrophyllus can be found in tropical karst evergreen forests in northern Vietnam. It often regenerates at high densities in anthropogenic disturbed forest stands. To understand the structural patterns of disturbed forests encroached by S. macrophyllus at different abundance levels, three fully mapped 1-ha plots were established in Cuc Phuong National Park. Methods considering the phylogenetic community and nearest neighbor statistics were applied to identify how community structure changes during S. macrophyllus encroachment. Results showed that phylogenetic distance, phylogenetic diversity, and mean phylogenetic distance increased when species diversity increased and the abundance of S. macrophyllus decreased in forest communities. Net related index values were positive, which indicates a clustered phylogenetic structure among all sampled forest communities. S. macrophyllus trees were mixed well with heterospecifics and had regular to aggregated distributions, whereas the species showed evidence of being a strong competitor with its neighbors. Competition could be a major ecological process regulating forest communities encroached by S. macrophyllus. According to the forest disturbance effects, phylogenetic community properties showed the loss of phylogenetic relatedness when S. macrophyllus increased in abundance. To our knowledge, S. macrophyllus encroaches tropical rain forest communities as a disturbance-adapted species. View Full-Text
Keywords: dominance; mingling; nearest neighborhood; phylogenetic structure; self-thinning; uniform angle index dominance; mingling; nearest neighborhood; phylogenetic structure; self-thinning; uniform angle index
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Hai, N.H.; Erfanifard, Y.; Bao, T.Q.; Petritan, A.M.; Mai, T.H.; Petritan, I.C. Phylogenetic Community and Nearest Neighbor Structure of Disturbed Tropical Rain Forests Encroached by Streblus macrophyllus. Forests 2020, 11, 722.

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