Plant pathogens drive density-dependent seedling mortality in a tropical tree.
One explanation for the extraordinary diversity of tropical forest trees is that density-dependent mortality from herbivores or pathogens puts locally rare species at an advantage. Density-dependent mortality of seeds and small seedlings is particularly intense in tropical forests, but its causes remain uncertain. Here, we show experimentally that pathogens from the Oomycota are associated with intense mortality in seedlings of a neotropical tree, Sebastiana longicuspis. Seedlings in untreate...Expand abstract
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