Functional Group Diversity and Responses to Disturbance

  • Julie S. Denslow
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 122)


In tropical moist forests, disturbance may enhance the coexistence of species through reduction of competition by dominants (Connell 1978; Huston 1979) and creation of establishment sites for seedlings (Brokaw 1985; Denslow 1980a, 1987). However, intense, repeated, and extensive human disturbance causes high rates of species extinctions (Wilson 1988). The debate on how best to manage tropical forests commercially shows that the relations between disturbance patterns, species diversity, and ecosystem processes are not well understood (Whitmore and Sayer 1992). In particular, the effects of species richness on disturbance regimes and successional patterns are more poorly understood than the effects of disturbance on community composition. This chapter examines the effects of species and groups of species on both disturbance regimes and the successional processes they trigger.


Tropical Forest Rain Forest Canopy Opening Disturbance Regime Tropical Rain Forest 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie S. Denslow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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