The high species diversity of mixed tropical forests hinders the development of forest dynamic models. A solution commonly adopted is to cluster species in groups. There are various methods for grouping species that can be linked to three strategies (i) the ecological subjective strategy, (ii) the ecological data-driven strategy, and (iii) the dynamic process strategy. In the first two strategies a species will be assigned to a single group while in the latter strategy, a specific grouping is defined for each process of population dynamics (typically based on recruitment, growth, mortality). Little congruency or convergence is observed in the literature between any two classifications of species. This may be explained by the independence between the sets of tree characters used to build species groups, or by the intra-specific variability
of these characters. We therefore recommend the dynamic process strategy as the most convenient strategy for building groups of species.
Topic: species diversity,classification,models,comparisons,tropical forests
Publication Year: 2005
Source: Annals of Forest Science 62: 785-796