Mapping density, diversity and species-richness of the Amazon tree flora

ter Steege, Hans; Pitman, Nigel C.A.; do Amaral, Iêda Leão; de Souza Coelho, Luiz; de Almeida Matos, Francisca Dionízia; de Andrade Lima Filho, Diógenes; Salomão, Rafael P.; Wittmann, Florian; Castilho, Carolina V.; Guevara, Juan Ernesto; Veiga Carim, Marcelo; Phillips, Oliver L.; Magnusson, William E.; Sabatier, Daniel; Revilla, Juan David Cardenas; Molino, Jean François; Irume, Mariana Victória; Martins, Maria Pires; da Silva Guimarães, José Renan; Ramos, José Ferreira; Bánki, Olaf S.; Piedade, Maria Teresa Fernandez; Cárdenas López, Dairon; Rodrigues, Domingos de Jesus; Demarchi, Layon O.; Schöngart, Jochen; Almeida, Everton José; Barbosa, Luciane Ferreira; Cavalheiro, Larissa; dos Santos, Márcia Cléia Vilela; Luize, Bruno Garcia; de Leão Novo, Evlyn Márcia Moraes; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Silva, Thiago Sanna Freire; Venticinque, Eduardo Martins; Manzatto, Angelo Gilberto; Reis, Neidiane Farias Costa; Terborgh, John; Casula, Katia Regina; Honorio Coronado, Euridice N.; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Montero, Juan Carlos; Costa, Flávia R.C.; Levis, Carolina; van Andel, Tinde R.; Hoffman, Bruce; Junqueira, André Braga; Flores, Bernardo Monteiro; Holmgren, Milena; Zagt, Roderick


Using 2.046 botanically-inventoried tree plots across the largest tropical forest on Earth, we mapped tree species-diversity and tree species-richness at 0.1-degree resolution, and investigated drivers for diversity and richness. Using only location, stratified by forest type, as predictor, our spatial model, to the best of our knowledge, provides the most accurate map of tree diversity in Amazonia to date, explaining approximately 70% of the tree diversity and species-richness. Large soil-forest combinations determine a significant percentage of the variation in tree species-richness and tree alpha-diversity in Amazonian forest-plots. We suggest that the size and fragmentation of these systems drive their large-scale diversity patterns and hence local diversity. A model not using location but cumulative water deficit, tree density, and temperature seasonality explains 47% of the tree species-richness in the terra-firme forest in Amazonia. Over large areas across Amazonia, residuals of this relationship are small and poorly spatially structured, suggesting that much of the residual variation may be local. The Guyana Shield area has consistently negative residuals, showing that this area has lower tree species-richness than expected by our models. We provide extensive plot meta-data, including tree density, tree alpha-diversity and tree species-richness results and gridded maps at 0.1-degree resolution.