Plant Science Innovation, Center for



Camille S. Delavaux, ETH ZürichFollow
Joseph A. LaManna, Marquette University
Jonathan A. Myers, Washington University in St. Louis
Richard P. Phillips, Indiana University Bloomington
Salomón Aguilar, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
David Allen, Middlebury College
Alfonso Alonso, National Zoological Park
Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Matthew E. Baker, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Jennifer L. Baltzer, Wilfrid Laurier University
Pulchérie Bissiengou, Herbier National du Gabon
Mariana Bonfim, Temple University
Norman A. Bourg, National Zoological Park
Warren Y. Brockelman, Thailand National Science and Technology Development Agency
David F.R.P. Burslem, University of Aberdeen
Li Wan Chang, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute
Yang Chen, Sun Yat-Sen University
Jyh Min Chiang, Tunghai University
Chengjin Chu, Sun Yat-Sen University
Keith Clay, Tulane University
Susan Cordell, USDA Forest Service
Mary Cortese, Temple University
Jan den Ouden, Wageningen University & Research
Christopher Dick, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Sisira Ediriweera, Uva Wellassa University
Erle C. Ellis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Anna Feistner, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Amy L. Freestone, Temple University
Thomas Giambelluca, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Christian P. Giardina, USDA Forest Service
Gregory S. Gilbert, University of California, Santa Cruz
Fangliang He, University of Alberta
Jan Holík, Vyzkumny ústav Silva Taroucy pro krajinu a okrasné zahradnictví, v.v.i.
Robert W. Howe, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Walter Huaraca Huasca, University of Oxford
Stephen P. Hubbell, University of California, Los Angeles
Faith Inman, University of Hawaii at Hilo
Patrick A. Jansen, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Daniel J. Johnson, University of Florida
Kamil Kral, Vyzkumny ústav Silva Taroucy pro krajinu a okrasné zahradnictví, v.v.i.
Sabrina E. Russo, University of Nebraska - LincolnFollow
et al.

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Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,


One mechanism proposed to explain high species diversity in tropical systems is strong negative conspecific density dependence (CDD), which reduces recruitment of juveniles in proximity to conspecific adult plants. Although evidence shows that plant-specific soil pathogens can drive negative CDD, trees also form key mutualisms with mycorrhizal fungi, which may counteract these effects. Across 43 large-scale forest plots worldwide, we tested whether ectomycorrhizal tree species exhibit weaker negative CDD than arbuscular mycorrhizal tree species. We further tested for conmycorrhizal density dependence (CMDD) to test for benefit from shared mutualists. We found that the strength of CDD varies systematically with mycorrhizal type, with ectomycorrhizal tree species exhibiting higher sapling densities with increasing adult densities than arbuscular mycorrhizal tree species. Moreover, we found evidence of positive CMDD for tree species of both mycorrhizal types. Collectively, these findings indicate that mycorrhizal interactions likely play a foundational role in global forest diversity patterns and structure.