Evidence of species-specific neighborhood effects in the dipterocarpaceae of a Bornean rain forest

Stoll, Peter; Newbery, David McClintock (2005). Evidence of species-specific neighborhood effects in the dipterocarpaceae of a Bornean rain forest. Ecology, 86(11), pp. 3048-3062. Ecological Society of America 10.1890/04-1540

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Although accumulating evidence indicates that local intraspecific density-dependent effects are not as rare in species-rich communities as previously suspected, there are still very few detailed and systematic neighborhood analyses of species-rich communities. Here, we provide such an analysis with the overall goal of quantifying the relative importance of inter- and intraspecific interaction strength in a primary, lowland dipterocarp forest located at Danum, Sabah, Malaysia. Using data on 10 abundant overstory dipterocarp species from two 4-ha permanent plots, we evaluated the effects of neighbors on the absolute growth rate of focal trees (from 1986 to 1996) over increasing neighborhood radii (from 1 to 20 m) with multiple regressions. Only trees 10 cm to < 100 cm girth at breast height in 1986 were considered as focal trees. Among neighborhood models with one neighbor term, models including only conspecific larger trees performed best in five out of 10 species. Negative effects of conspecific larger neighbors were most apparent in large overstory species such as those of the genus Shorea. However, neighborhood models with separate terms and radii for heterospecific and conspecific neighbors accounted for more variability in absolute growth rates than did neighborhood models with one neighbor term. The conspecific term was significant for nine out of 10 species. Moreover, in five out of 10 species, trees without conspecific neighbors had significantly higher absolute growth rates than trees with conspecific neighbors. Averaged over the 10 species, trees without conspecific neighbors grew 32.4 cm(2) in basal area from 1986 to 1996, whereas trees with conspecific neighbors only grew 14.7 cm(2) in basal area, although there was no difference in initial basal area between trees in the two groups. Averaged across the six species of the genus Shorea, negative effects of conspecific larger trees were significantly stronger than for heterospecific larger neighbors. Thus, high local densities within neighborhoods of 20 m may lead to strong intraspecific negative and, hence, density-dependent, effects even in species rich communities with low overall densities at larger spatial scales. We conjecture that the strength of conspecific effects may be correlated with the degree of host specificity of ectomycorrhizae.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Vegetation Ecology [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Stoll, Peter and Newbery, David McClintock


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




Ecological Society of America




Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

15 Aug 2014 11:22

Last Modified:

13 Dec 2014 06:31

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

density dependence, Dipterocarpaceae, ectomycorrhizae, growth increment, host specificity, individual-based models, interspecific vs. conspecific neighborhood effects, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia, Shorea spp., tropical rain forest





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