Research Overview

How do species of hyper-diverse genera such as Macaranga coexist within a forest?

Understanding how the environment constrains the distribution of tree species and influences growth and mortality rates is fundamental to predicting how global change will affect tropical rainforests.


Ph.D., Harvard University, 1996

B.Sc., University of Sydney, Australia, 1987

Selected Publications

Sezen, U., S.J. Worthy, M.N. Umana, S.J. Davies, S.M. McMahon & N.G. Swenson (accepted) Comparative transcriptomics of tropical woody plants supports fast and furious strategy along the leaf economics spectrum in lianas. 2022. Biology Open (Preprint online @BioRxiv).

Kambach, S., R. Condit, S. Aguilar, H. Bruelheide, S. Bunyavejchewin, C-H. Chang-Yang, Y-Y. Chen, G. Chuyong, S.J. Davies, Sisira Ediriweera, Corneille E. N. Ewango, Edwino S. Fernando, N. Gunatilleke, S. Gunatilleke, S.P. Hubbell, A. Itoh, D. Kenfack, S. Kiratiprayoon, Y-C. Lin, J-R. Makana, M. Mohamad, N. Pongpattananurak, R. Pérez, L.J.V. Rodriguez, I-F. Sun, S. Tan, D. Thomas, J. Thompson, M. Uriarte, R. Valencia, C. Wirth, S.J. Wright, S-H. Wu, T. Yamakura, T.L. Yao, J. Zimmerman, N. Rüger. 2022. Consistency of demographic trade-offs across tropical forests. Journal of Ecology (in press) (Pre-print online @Authorea). 10.22541/au.163253541.10680169/v1

Zuleta, D., G. Arellano, H.C. Muller-Landau, S.M. McMahon, S. Aguilar, S. Bunyavejchewin, D. Cárdenas, C-H. Chang-Yang, A. Duque, D. Mitre, M. Nasardin, R. Pérez, I-F. Sun, T.L. Yao & S.J. Davies. 2022. Individual tree damage dominates mortality risk factors across six tropical forests. New Phytologist, 233 (2), 705-721.

Gonzalez-Akre, E., C. Piponiot, M. Lepore, V. Herrmann, J.A. Lutz, J.L. Baltzer, C. Dick, G.S. Gilbert, F.L. He, M. Heym, A.I. Huerta, P. Jansen, D. Johnson, N. Knapp, K. Kral, D. Lin, Y. Malhi, S. McMahon, J.A. Myers, D. Orwig, D.I. Rodríguez-Hernández, S. Russo, J. Shue, X. Wang, A. Wolf, T. Yang, S.J. Davies & K.J. Anderson-Teixeira. 2022. allodb: An R package for biomass estimation at globally distributed extratropical forest plots. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 13 (2), 330-338.

Piponiot, C., K.J. Anderson-Teixeira,, S.J. Davies,, D. Allen, N.A. Bourg, D.F.R.P. Burslem, D. Cárdenas, C-H. Chang-Yang, G. Chuyong, R. Condit, S. Cordell, H.S. Dattaraja, C.W. Dick, Á. Duque, S. Ediriweera, C. Ewango, Z. Ezedin, J. Filip, C. Giardina, T. Hart, A. Hector, R. Howe, C-F. Hsieh, S. Hubbell, F.M. Inman-Narahari, A. Itoh, D. Jánik, D. Kenfack,, K. Král, J.A. Lutz, J-R. Makana, S. McMahon, W. McShea, X. Mi, M. Mohamad, V. Novotný,, M.J. O'Brien, R. Ostertag, G. Parker, R. Pérez, H. Ren, G. Reynolds, M.D.M. Sabri, L. Sack, A. Shringi, S-H. Su, R. Sukumar, I-F. Sun, H.S. Suresh, D.W. Thomas, J. Thompson, M. Uriarte, J. Vandermeer, Y. Wang, I.M. Ware, G.D. Weiblen, T.J.S. Whitfeld, A. Wolf, T.L. Yao, M. Yu, Z. Yuan, J. Zimmerman, D. Zuleta, & H. Muller-Landau. 2022. Distribution of biomass dynamics in relation to tree size in forests across the world. New Phytologist.

Zuleta, D., S.M. Krishna Moorthy, G. Arellano, H. Verbeeck & S.J. Davies (2022) Vertical distribution of trunk and crown volume in tropical trees. Forest Ecology and Management, 508, 120056.

Anderson-Teixeira, K.J., V. Herrmann, C. Rollinson, B. Gonzalez, E.B. Gonzalez-Akre, N. Pederson, R. Alexander, C.D. Allen, R. Alfaro-Sánchez, T. Awada, J.L. Baltzer, P.J. Baker, S. Bunyavejchewin, P. Cherubini, J. Cooper, S.J. Davies, C. Dow, R. Helcoski, J. Kašpar, J. Lutz, E.Q. Margolis, J. Maxwell, S. McMahon, C. Piponiot, S. Russo, P. Šamonil, A. Sniderhan, A.J. Tepley, I. Vašíčková, M. Vlam & P. Zuidema (2021) Joint effects of climate, tree size, and year on annual tree growth derived from tree-ring records of ten globally distributed forests. Global Change Biology, 28 (1), 245-266.

Cushman, K. C., S. Bunyavejchewin, D. Cárdenas, R. Condit, S.J. Davies, A. Duque, S.P.  Hubbell, S. Kiratiprayoon, S.K.Y. Lum & H.C. Muller-Landau. 2021. Variation in trunk taper of buttressed trees within and among five lowland tropical forests. Biotropica53, 1442– 1453.

Arellano, G., D. Zuleta & S.J. Davies. 2021. Tree death and damage: A standardized protocol for frequent surveys in tropical forests. Journal of Vegetation Science, 32(1)

ForestPlots, Blundo, C.,.. S.J. Davies.. (or 150 authors) (2021) Taking the pulse of Earth's tropical forests using networks of highly distributed plots. Biological Conservation, 260, 108849- ,

Saatchi, S., M. Longo, L. Xu, Y. Yang, H. Abe, M. André, J.E. Aukema, N. Carvalhais, H. Cadillo-Quiroz, G.A. Cerbu, J.M. Chernela, K. Covey, L.M. Sánchez-Clavijo, I.V. Cubillos, S.J. Davies, V. De Sy, F. De Vleeschouwer, A. Duque, A.M.S. Durieux, K. De Avila Fernandes, L.E. Fernandez, V. Gammino, D.P. Garrity, D.A. Gibbs, L. Gibbon, G.Y. Gowae, M. Hansen, N.L.Harris, S.P. Healey, R.G. Hilton, C.M. Johnson, R. Sufo Kankeu, N.T. Laporte-Goetz, H. Lee, T. Lovejoy, M. Lowman, R. Lumbuenamo, Y. Malhi, J-M.M.A. Martinez, C. Nobre, A. Pellegrini, J. Radachowsky, F. Román, D. Russell, D. Sheil, T.B. Smith, R.G.M. Spencer, F. Stolle, H. Lestari Tata, D. del Castillo Torres, R.M. Tshimanga, R. Vargas, M. Venter, J. West, A. Widayati, S.N. Wilson, S. Brumby & A.C. Elmore. 2021. Detecting vulnerability of humid tropical forests to multiple stressors. One Earth, 4, 7, 988-1003.

Pivovaroff, A.L., B.T. Wolfe, N. McDowell, B. Christoffersen, S. Davies, L.T. Dickman, C. Grossiord, R.T. Leff, A. Rogers, S.P. Serbin, S.J. Wright, J. Wu, C. Xu & J.Q. Chambers. 2021. Hydraulic architecture explains species moisture dependency but not mortality rates across a tropical rainfall gradient. Biotropica, 53, 1213-1225.

Wiegand, T., X. Wang, K.J. Anderson-Teixeira,, N. Bourg, M. Cao, X. Ci, S.J. Davies, Z. Hao,, R. Howe, W.J. Kress, J. Lian, J. Li, L. Lin, Y. Lin, K. Ma, W. McShea, X. Mi, S-H. Su, I-F. Sun, A. Wolf, W. Ye & Andreas Huth. 2021. Consequences of spatial patterns for coexistence in species rich plant communities. Nature, Ecology & Evolution 5, 965–973. 

Basset, Y., L.R. Jorge, P.T. Butterill, G.P.A. Lamarre, C. Dahl, R. Ctvrtecka, S. Gripenberg, O.T. Lewis, H. Barrios, J.W. Brown, S. Bunyavejchewin, B.A. Butcher, A.I. Cognato, S.J. Davies, O. Kaman, P. Klimes, M. Knížek, S.E. Miller, G.E. Morse, V. Novotny, N. Pongpattananurak, P. Pramual, D.L.J. Quicke, W. Sakchoowong, R. Umari, E.J. Vesterinen, G. Weiblen, S.J. Wright & Segar, S.T. 2021. Host specificity and interaction networks of insects feeding on seeds and fruits in tropical rainforests. Oikos, 130 (9), 1462-1476.

Wills, C., B. Wang, S. Fang, Y. Wang, Y. Jin, J. Lutz, J. Thompson, K.E. Harms, S. Pulla, B. Pasion, S. Germain, H. Liu, J. Smokey, S-H. Su, N. Butt, C. Chu, G. Chuyong, C-H. Chang-Yang, H.S. Dattaraja, S. Davies, S. Ediriweera, S. Esufali, C.D. Fletcher, N. Gunatilleke, S. Gunatilleke, S., et al. 2021. Interactions between all pairs of neighboring trees in 16 forests worldwide reveal details of unique ecological processes in each forest, and provide windows into their evolutionary histories. Plos Computational Biology, 17(4) e1008853

Kunert, N., J. Zailaa, V. Herrmann, H. Muller-Landau, S.J. Wright, R. Perez, S. McMahon, R. Condit, S. Hubbell, L. Sack, S. Davies & K. Anderson-Teixeira. 2021. Leaf turgor loss point shapes local and regional scale distribution of broadleaf evergreen but not deciduous tropical rainforest trees in relation to moisture. New Phytologist 230 (2), 485-496.

Arellano, G., D. Zuleta & S.J. Davies. 2021. Tree death and damage: a standardized protocol for frequent surveys in tropical forests. Journal of Vegetation Science. 32 (1), e12981.

Luskin M.S., D.J. Johnson, K. Ickes, T.L. Yao & S.J. Davies. 2021. Wildlife disturbances as a source of conspecific negative density-dependent mortality in tropical trees. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B, 288: 20210001.

Russo, S. S.M. McMahon, M. Detto, S.J. Wright, R.S. Condit, S.J. Davies, S. Bunyavejchewin, C.H. Chang-Yang, C.E.N. Ewango, C. Fletcher, R.B. Foster, C.V.S. Gunatilleke, I.A.U.N. Gunatilleke, T. Hart, C-F. Hsieh, S.P. Hubbell, A. Itoh, A.R. Kassim, Y.C. Lin, J.-R. Makana, P. Ong, A. Sugiyama, I-F. Sun, S. Tan, J. Thompson, T. Yamakura, S.L. Yap, J.K. Zimmerman. 2021. The interspecific growth-mortality trade-off is not a general framework for understanding tropical forest community structure. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 5 (2), 174–183.

Kohyama, T., M. Potts, T. Kohyama, K. Niiyama, T.L. Yao, S.J. Davies & D. Sheil. 2020. Trade-off between standing biomass and productivity in species-rich tropical forest: evidence, explanations and implications. Journal of Ecology, 108 (6), 2571-2583.

Sullivan, M.J.P., S.L. Lewis, .. S. Davies, .. & O.L. Phillips. 2020. Long-term thermal sensitivity of Earth’s tropical forests. Science, 368, 869-874.

Weemstra, M., K.G. Peay, S.J. Davies, M. Mohamad, A. Itoh, S. Tan & S.E. Russo. 2020. Lithological constraints on resource economies shape the mycorrhizal composition of a Bornean rain forest. New Phytologist, 228, 253-268.

Koven, C.D., R.G. Knox, R.A. Fisher, J. Chambers, B.O. Christoffersen, S.J. Davies, M. Detto, M.C. Dietze, B. Faybishenko, J. Holm, M. Huang, M. Kovenock, L.M. Kueppers, G. Lemieux, E. Massoud, N.G. McDowell, H.C. Muller-Landau, J.F. Needham, R.J. Norby, T. Powell, A. Rogers, S.P. Serbin, J.K. Shuman, A.L.S. Swann, C. Varadharajan, A.P. Walker, S.J. Wright & C. Xu. 2020. Benchmarking and parameter sensitivity of physiological and vegetation dynamics using the Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) at Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Biogeosciences, 17(11): 3017-3044.

Segnitz, R.M., S.E. Russo, S.J. Davies & K.G. Peay. 2020. Ectomycorrhizal fungi drive positive phylogenetic plant–soil feedbacks in a regionally dominant tropical plant family. Ecology, 101 (8), e03083.

Zuleta, D., S.E. Russo, M. Detto, A. Barona, D. Cardenas, N. Castaño, S.J. Davies, S. Sua, B.L. Turner & A. Duque. 2020. Importance of topography for tree species habitat distributions in a terra firme forest in the Colombian Amazon. Plant and Soil, 450 (1), 133-149.

Rutishauser, E., S. Wright, R. Condit, S. Hubbell, S.J. Davies, & H. Muller-Landau. 2020. Testing for changes in biomass dynamics in large-scale forest datasets. Global Change Biology 26(3): 1485-1498.

Xu, H, M. Detto, S. Fang, R. Chazdon, Y. Li1, B.C.H. Hau, G.A. Fischer, G.D. Weiblen, J.A, Hogan, J.K. Zimmerman, M. Uriate, J. Thompson, J. Lian, K. Cao, D. Kenfack, A. Alonso, P. Bissiengou, H.R. Memiaghe, R. Valencia, S.L. Yap, S.J. Davies, X. Mi & T.L. Yao. 2020. Soil nitrogen concentration mediates the relationship between leguminous trees and neighbor diversity in tropical forests. Communications Biology 3 (1), 1-8.

Fung, T., Chisholm, R.A., Anderson‐Teixeira, K., Bourg, N., Brockelman, W.Y., Bunyavejchewin, S., Chang‐Yang, C.-H., Chitra‐Tarak, R., Chuyong, G., Condit, R., Dattaraja, H.S., Davies, S.J., Ewango, C.E.N., Fewless, G., Fletcher, C., Gunatilleke, C.V.S., Gunatilleke, I.A.U.N., Hao, Z., Hogan, J.A., Howe, R., Hsieh, C.-Fu., Kenfack, D., Lin, Y.C., Ma, K., Makana, J.-R., et al. 2019. Temporal population variability in local forest communities has mixed effects on tree species richness across a latitudinal gradient. Ecology Letters, 23 (1), 160-171

Bunyavejchewin, S., A. Sinbumroong, B.L. Turner & S.J. Davies. 2019. Natural disturbance and soils drive diversity and dynamics of seasonal dipterocarp forest in Southern Thailand. Journal of Tropical Ecology 35(3): 95-107.

McShea, W., R. Sukmasuang, D. Erickson, V. Herrmann, D. Ngoprasert, N. Bhumpakphan & S.J. Davies. 2019. Metabarcoding reveals diet diversity in an ungulate community in Thailand. Biotropica 51 (6), 923-937.

Menge, D.N.L., R.A. Chisholm, S.J. Davies, et al. 2019. Rarity of nitrogen-fixing trees in Asia suggests lower potential for carbon sequestration. Journal of Ecology 107 (6), 2598-2610

Luskin, M.S., K. Ickes, T.L. Yao & S.J. Davies. 2019. Wildlife differentially affect tree and liana regeneration in a tropical forest: An 18-year study of experimental terrestrial defaunation versus artificially abundant herbivores. Journal of Applied Ecology, 56(6): 1379-1388.

Chave, J., S.J. Davies, O.L. Phillips, S.L. Lewis, P. Sist, D. Schepaschenko, J. Armston, T.R. Baker, D. Coomes, M. Disney, L. Duncanson, B. Hérault, N. Labrière, V. Meyer, M. Réjou-Méchain, K. Scipal & S. Saatchi. 2019. Ground data are essential for biomass remote sensing missions. Surveys in Geophysics, 40 (4): 863-880.

McMahon, S.M., G. Arellano & S.J. Davies. 2019. The importance and challenges of detecting changes in forest mortality rates. Ecosphere 10 (2), e02615.

Arellano, G., N. García-Medina, S. Tan, M. Mohamad & S.J. Davies. 2019. Crown damage and the mortality of tropical trees New Phytologist 221(1): 169-179. doi:10.1111/nph.15381.

Zemunik, G. S.J. Davies & B.L. Turner. 2018. Soil drivers of local-scale tree growth in a lowland tropical forest. Ecology 99 (12), 2844-2852

Labrière, N. S. Tao, J. Chave, K. Scipal, T. Le Toan, N. Barbier, T. Casal, S.J. Davies, A. Ferraz, B. Hérault, G. Jaouen, D. Kenfack, S.L. Lewis, Y. Malhi, M. Réjou-Méchain, L. Villard, G. Vincent, S. Saatchi. 2018. In situ data from the TropiSAR and AfriSAR campaigns as a support to upcoming spaceborne biomass missions. IEEE JSTARS Special Issue on Forest Structure Estimation in Remote Sensing, 11(10): 3617 - 3627.

Johnson, D.J., J. Needham, C. Xu, E.C. Massoud, S.J. Davies, K.J. Anderson-Teixeira, S. Bunyavejchewin, J.Q. Chambers, C.H. Chang-Yang, J.M. Chiang, G.B. Chuyong, R. Condit, S. Cordell, C. Fletcher, C. P. Giardina, T.W. Giambelluca, N. Gunatilleke, S. Gunatilleke, C.F. Hsieh, S. Hubbell, F. Inman-Narahari, A.R. Kassim, M. Katabuchi, D. Kenfack, C. M. Litton, S. Lum, M. Mohamad, M. Nasardin, P.S. Ong, R. Ostertag, L. Sack, N. G. Swenson, I. F. Sun, S. Tan, D. W. Thomas, J. Thompson, M.N. Umana, M. Uriarte, R. Valencia, S. Yap, J. Zimmerman, N.G. McDowell & S.M. McMahon. 2018. Climate sensitive size-dependent survival in tropical trees. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2, 1436-1442.

Kurten, E., S. Bunyavejchewin & S.J. Davies. 2018. A dipterocarp-dominated forest in a seasonally dry climate exhibits annual reproduction. Journal of Ecology. 106 (1), 126-136.

Hogan, J., J. Zimmerman, J. Thompson, M. Uriarte, N. Swenson, R. Condit, S. Hubbell, D. Johnson, I. Sun, C.-H. Chang-Yang, S.-H. Su, P. Ong, L. Rodriguez, C. Monoy, S. Yap, and S.J. Davies. 2018. The frequency of cyclonic wind storms shapes tropical forest dynamism and functional trait dispersion. Forests 9:404.

Kurten EL, Bunyavejchewin S, Davies SJ. Phenology of a dipterocarp forest with seasonal drought: Insights into the origin of general flowering. J Ecol. 2018; 106:126–136.

Zuleta, D., Duque, A. , Cardenas, D. , Muller‐Landau, H. C. and Davies, S. J. (2017), Drought‐induced mortality patterns and rapid biomass recovery in a terra firme forest in the Colombian Amazon. Ecology, 98: 2538-2546. doi:10.1002/ecy.1950

Kang Min Ngo, Stuart Davies, Nik Faizu Nik Hassan & Shawn Lum (2017) Resilience of a forest fragment exposed to long-term isolation in Singapore, Plant Ecology & Diversity, 9:4, 397-407, DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2016.1262924

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