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Soil Nutrients and Tree Species Richness in Costa Rican Forests

Michael Huston
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 7, No. 2 (Jun., 1980), pp. 147-157
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2844707
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2844707
Page Count: 11
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Soil Nutrients and Tree Species Richness in Costa Rican Forests
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Abstract

Analyis of published data for forty-six Costa Rican forest sites indicates a negative correlation between soil nutrient availability and tree species richness. P, K, Ca, Na, total bases, base saturation, and cation exchange capacity showed significnat (P < 0.01) correlations, while available nitrogen, total nitrogen, organic matter, Mn, and Mg were not significantly correlated with species richness. With six measures of soil nutrients, a stepwise regression gave and R2 of 0.71. Correlations between species richness, precipitation, tree density, tree height, and soil fertility, are consistent with the interpretation that the highest species richness occurs under poor growth conditions. Results of field and glasshouse fertilization experiments are reviewed.

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