Using trait and phylogenetic diversity to evaluate the generality of the stress dominance hypothesis in eastern North American tree communities

<p>This poster was presented at the 2013 UNC Biology Department Research Symposium. We used two complementary datasets of forest plots spanning the eastern United States to test whether patterns of trait variation and phylogenetic diversity in 53,000 tree communities were consistent with the stress dominance hypothesis. This hypothesis proposes that environmental filters structure communities in stressful environments while competition has a stronger role in less stressful environments. We examined two potential gradients of stress: water availability and soil nutrient availability. The research project was a collaboration among graduate students who participated in a distributed graduate seminar on the Dimensions of Biodiversity.</p> <p> </p>