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Abstract Detail


Whitman, Melissa [1], RUSSO, SABRINA E [2], Beaman, Reed [3].

Does Rapoport's rule apply to the ultramafic flora of Sabah, Borneo?

The island of Borneo is home to habitats with some of the highest plant species richness on Earth. Elevation gradients, at sites such as Mount Kinabalu, offer scientists the opportunity to research the ecological mechanisms that shape species richness and distribution. We tested the applicability of Rapoport's rule (the observation that species' range-size increases with latitude, or elevation) for flora of Borneo, Sabah. To gain insights on the relationship between species' tolerance for edaphic stress and average elevation range-size (as a proxy for climate envelope), we contrasted assemblages of species specific to ultramafic soils, tolerant of ultramafic soil, or occurring on dominant soil types. Species of interest included all vascular plants (~100 plant families), with elevation range-size and edaphic preferences inferred from information from botanical monographs, herbarium records, and historic surveys. First, we examined range-size trends across the entire elevation gradient, and then by distinct vegetation zones (lowland tropical rainforests, montane cloud forests, and sub-alpine shrublands) using piece-wise regression, with model selection for the optimum number of breakpoints based on AIC. In addition, we used a series of null models to distinguish ecologically important trends as compared to random artifacts of the data. We found support for Rapoport's rule when looking at general trends (positive slope) across the entire elevation gradient, however range-size trends differed within each vegetation zone, especially for species assemblages that were not specific to ultramafic soil. Our results indicate that elevation range-size patterns vary depending on ecological strategy, such as tolerance for edaphic stress, and by vegetation zone.

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1 - University of Nebraska, School of Biological Sciences, 402 Manter Hall, Lincoln, NE, 68588, USA
2 - University of Nebraska, School of Biological Sciences, Manter Hall, Lincoln, NE, 68588-0118, USA
3 - National Science Foundation, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA, 22230, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 15, Ecology Section - Functional Traits and Responses
Location: Sundance 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 4:45 PM
Number: 15005
Abstract ID:425
Candidate for Awards:None

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