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 Yap, Jonathan A. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Chisholm and Fung claim that our method of estimating conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD) in recruitment is systematically biased, and present an alternative method that shows no latitudinal pattern in CNDD. We demonstrate that their approach produces strongly biased estimates of CNDD, explaining why they do not detect a latitudinal pattern. We also address their methodological concerns using an alternative distance-weighted approach, which supports our original findings of a latitudinal gradient in CNDD and a latitudinal shift in the relationship between CNDD and species abundance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaar5245
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: https:// and plant-diversity-increases-strength-negative-density-dependence-global-scale.

Publisher Copyright:
2017 © The Authors,

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