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Data and code associated with: Gora, E., et al. How some tropical trees benefit from being struck by lightning.

Version 2 2024-03-04, 20:48
Version 1 2023-12-07, 20:18
dataset
posted on 2024-03-04, 20:48 authored by Evan Gora, Helene C. Muller-LandauHelene C. Muller-Landau, Katherine CushmanKatherine Cushman, Jeannine Richards, Phillip Bitzer, Jeffrey Burchfield, Pablo Narvaez, Stephen P. Yanoviak

Lightning strikes are exceptionally powerful phenomena that kill hundreds of millions of trees annually. Here, we use data from a unique lightning location system to show that some individual trees counterintuitively benefit from being struck by lightning. Lightning killed 56% of 93 directly struck trees and caused an average of 41% crown dieback among the survivors. However, 18 direct strikes to lightning-tolerant trees caused little observable damage to those individuals, while reducing the number of lianas infesting their crowns by 69% and killing an average of 2.1 Mg of competitor tree biomass. The average lightning-tolerant tree is struck by lightning multiple times, conferring these benefits repeatedly (predicted mean direct strikes while canopy-height range 1.5-8.1 strikes tree-1 among species). For the often-struck Dipteryx oleifera, we estimate that the ability to survive lightning increases lifetime fecundity 14-fold, with a majority of that increase attributable to the removal of lianas and reduced light competition. Not only do D. oleifera trees apparently benefit from lightning, but their unusual heights and wide crowns increase the probability of a direct strike by 49-68% relative to trees of the same diameter with average allometries. These patterns suggest that lightning plays an underappreciated role in tree competition, influencing selection on tree life histories and tree allometries with implications for species coexistence.

File list:

allometry.zip: abundant_species_df_taxa.csv, abundant_species_df_taxa_test.csv, species_allometry.csv, allometry_strike_frequency_deconstruction.R (4 files)

drone_map.zip: DipteryxStrikeHtData.csv, NonStrikeHtData.csv, drone_map_canopy_height.R (3 files)

group_comparisons.zip: direct_alltrees_allcensuses.csv, other_canopytree_surveys.csv, plot_lianas.csv, strike_recensuses2021.csv, ReadMe.csv, comparisons_dataframes_Dipteryx.R, comparisons_dataframes_tolerant.R (7 files)

lifetime_simulations.zip: combined_strike_dips.csv, dips_growth.csv, dips_mortality.csv, exposed_crowns.csv, liana_transitions_raw.csv, repro_data.csv, Dip_lifetime_simulations.R, summary_lightningSURV_IGNORElianas.rds, summary_NolianaREM_lightningDEATH_CONSTANTcompetition.rds, summary_NolianaREM_lightningSURV_CONSTANTcompetition.rds (10 files)

release.zip: alltrees_finalsurvey_sp.csv, release_from_competition.R (2 files)

survival_analyses_historic_neighborhoods.R

MovieS1_NarratedVideo.mp4

README_gora.md: This markdown file describes all data analyses in detail and provides definitions for variables contained in all .csv data files.

Funding

Collaborative Research: The biology of lightning in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: Lightning as an agent of tropical tree mortality

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: The biology of lightning in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: Lightning as an agent of tropical tree mortality

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Award 2015188266

Collaborative Research: Lightning-caused disturbance and patterns of recovery in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: Lightning-caused disturbance and patterns of recovery in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: Lightning-caused disturbance and patterns of recovery in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Smithsonian Institution Fellowship

National Geographic Society, Award 9703-15

Smithsonian Institution, Earl S. Tupper Fellowship

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Award 80NM0018D0004

History

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9.1574, -79.8481

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datamanagement@caryinstitute.org

Data Sharing Statement

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies furnishes code and data under the following conditions: The code or data have received quality assurance scrutiny, and, although we are confident of their accuracy, Cary Institute will not be held liable for errors in the code or data. Code and data are subject to change resulting from updates in data screening or models used. To cite code or data, click on the Cite button on this page.

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