Are allometric model parameters of aboveground biomass for trees phylogenetically constrained?

Plant Divers. 2022 Dec 2;45(2):229-233. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2022.11.005. eCollection 2023 Mar.


Knowledge of which biological and functional traits have, or lack, phylogenetic signal in a particular group of organisms is important to understanding the formation and functioning of biological communities. Allometric biomass models reflecting tree growth characteristics are commonly used to predict forest biomass. However, few studies have examined whether model parameters are constrained by phylogeny. Here, we use a comprehensive database (including 276 tree species) compiled from 894 allometric biomass models published in 302 articles to examine whether parameters a and b of the model W = a D b (where W stands for aboveground biomass, D is diameter at breast height) exhibit phylogenetic signal for all tree species as a whole and for different groups of tree species. For either model parameter, we relate difference in model parameter between different tree species to phylogenetic distance and to environmental distance between pairwise sites. Our study shows that neither model parameter exhibits phylogenetic signals (Pagel’s λ and Blomberg’s K both approach zero). This is the case regardless of whether all tree species in our data set were analyzed as a whole or tree species in different taxonomic groups (gymnosperm and angiosperm), leaf duration groups (evergreen and deciduous), or ecological groups (tropical, temperate and boreal) were analyzed separately. Our study also shows that difference in each parameter of the allometric biomass model is not significantly related to phylogenetic and environmental distances between tree species in different sites.

PMID:37069928 | PMC:PMC10105221 | DOI:10.1016/j.pld.2022.11.005


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