Research Overview

Why are there so many species of trees in the tropics?

I think we have the answer. Where a tropical tree species is abundant, its juveniles perform poorly. Where the same tree species is rare, its juveniles often thrive. This strong, pervasive, negative density dependence prevents any one species from dominating most tropical forests. The question now is why?


B.A., Princeton University, 1974.

Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles, 1980.

Selected Publications

Wright, SJ and O Calderón. In press. Solar irradiance as the proximate cue for flowering in a tropical moist forest. Biotropica

Usinowicz, J, YY Chen, JS Clark, C Fletcher, NC Garwood, Z Hao, J Johnstone, Y Lin, MR Metz, T Masaki, T Nakashizuka, IF Sun, R Valencia, Y Wang,  JK Zimmerman, AR Ives, SJ Wright. 2017. Temporal niches and the latitudinal gradient in forest diversity. Nature doi:10.1038/nature24038

Chen, YY, A Satake, IF Sun, Y Kosugi, M Tani, S Numata, SP Hubbell, C Fletcher, Nur Supardi Md. Noor, SJ Wright. 2017. Species-specific flowering cues among general flowering Shorea species at the Pasoh Research Forest, Malaysia. Journal of Ecology doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12836

Katabuchi, M, SJ Wright, N Swenson, K Feeley, R Condit, SP Hubbell and SJ Davies. 2017. Contrasting outcomes of species- and community-level analyses of the temporal consistency of functional composition. Ecology 98: 2273-2280.

Wright, SJ, O Calderón, A Hernandéz, M Detto, PA Jansen. 2016. Interspecific associations in seed arrival and seedling recruitment in a Neotropical forest. Ecology 97: 2780-2790.

Wright, SJ, IF Sun, M Pickering, CD Fletcher, YY Chen. 2015. Long-term changes in liana loads and tree dynamics in a Malaysian forest. Ecology 96: 2748-2757.

Wright, SJ, JB Yavitt, N Wurzburger, BL Turner, EVJ Tanner, EJ Sayer, LS Santiago, M Kaspari, LO Hedin, KE Harms, MN Garcia  and MD Corre. 2011. Potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen limit forest plants growing on a relatively fertile soil in the lowland tropics. Ecology 92: 1616–1625.

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