Community dissimilarity of angiosperm trees reveals deep-time diversification across tropical and temperate forests

Kusumoto, B., Kubota, Y., Baselga, A., Gómez-Rodríguez, C., Matthews, T.J.Murphy, D.J. & Shiono, T. (2021) Community dissimilarity of angiosperm trees reveals deep-time diversification across tropical and temperate forests.

Journal of Vegetation Science, 32(2), e13017. DOI:10.1111/jvs.13017 (IF2020 2,685; Q1 Plant Sciences)
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  • Jun, 2021



To better understand the influence of deep-time diversification on extant plant communities, we assessed how community dissimilarity increases with spatial and climatic distances at multiple taxonomic ranks (species, genus, family, and order) in angiosperm trees. We tested the prediction that the dissimilarity–distance relationship should change across taxonomic ranks depending on the deep-time diversification in different biogeographical regions reflecting geohistories and geographical settings.




Using a data set of plot-based surveys across the globe (861 plots), we compiled a community composition matrix comprising 21,455 species, 2,741 genera, 240 families, and 57 orders. We then calculated Sørensen's pairwise dissimilarity (βsor), and its turnover (βsim) and nestedness (βsne) components, among plots within seven biogeographical regions. Finally, we modeled the relationships between the biotic dissimilarities and the spatial/climatic distances at each taxonomic rank, and compared them among regions.


βsor and βsim increased with increasing spatial and climatic distance in all biogeographical regions: βsim was dominant in all biogeographical regions in general, while βsne showed relatively high contributions to total dissimilarity in the temperate regions with historically unstable climatic conditions. The βsim-distance curve was more saturated at smaller spatial scales in the tropics than in the temperate regions. In general, the curves became flatter at higher taxonomic ranks (order or family), with the exception of Africa, North America, and Australia, pointing to region-specific geographical constraints.


Compositional dissimilarity was generally shaped through the abrupt turnover of species along spatial/climatic gradients. The relatively high importance of the nestedness component in the temperate regions suggests that historical dispersal filters related to extinction/colonization may play important roles. Region-specific changes in the turnover and nestedness components across taxonomic ranks suggest differential imprints of historical diversification over deep evolutionary time in shaping extant diversity patterns in each biogeographical region.