Response to Comment on “Plant diversity increases with the strength of negative density dependence at the global scale”

Joseph A. LaManna, Scott A. Mangan, Alfonso Alonso, Norman A. Bourg, Warren Y. Brockelman, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, Li Wan Chang, Jyh Min Chiang, George B. Chuyong, Keith Clay, Susan Cordell, Stuart J. Davies, Tucker J. Furniss, Christian P. Giardina, I. A.U. Nimal Gunatilleke, C. V. Savitri Gunatilleke, Fangliang He, Robert W. Howe, Stephen P. Hubbell, Chang Fu HsiehFaith M. Inman-Narahari, David Janík, Daniel J. Johnson, David Kenfack, Lisa Korte, Kamil Král, Andrew J. Larson, James A. Lutz, Sean M. McMahon, William J. McShea, Hervé R. Memiaghe, Anuttara Nathalang, Vojtech Novotny, Perry S. Ong, David A. Orwig, Rebecca Ostertag, Geoffrey G. Parker, Richard P. Phillips, Lawren Sack, I. Fang Sun, J. Sebastián Tello, Duncan W. Thomas, Benjamin L. Turner, Dilys M. Vela Díaz, Tomáš Vrška, George D. Weiblen, Amy Wolf, Sandra Ya, Jonathan A. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hülsmann and Hartig suggest that ecological mechanisms other than specialized natural enemies or intraspecific competition contribute to our estimates of conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). To address their concern, we show that our results are not the result of a methodological artifact and present a null-model analysis that demonstrates that our original findings—(i) stronger CNDD at tropical relative to temperate latitudes and (ii) a latitudinal shift in the relationship between CNDD and species abundance—persist even after controlling for other processes that might influence spatial relationships between adults and recruits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaar3824
Issue number6391
StatePublished - May 25 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank an anonymous reviewer for suggesting the distance-weighted approach. We also thank everyone involved in the collection of the vast quantity of data in the CTFS-ForestGEO network; see table S20 in our original paper for site-specific acknowledgments. Supported by NSF grant DEB-1545761 (S.J.D.), NSF grants DEB-1256788 and DEB-1557094 (J.A.M.), NSF grant DEB-1257989 (S.A.M.), and the Tyson Research Center. We declare no conflicts of interest. The data and R code for analyses are available at the Smithsonian Institution’s ForestGEO database portal: and https://

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