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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2014, Article ID 196073, 11 pages
Research Article

Diversity-Productivity Relationship in the Northeastern Tamaulipan Thornscrub Forest of Mexico

1Natural Resource Management, Instituto Politécnico Nacional Unidad Durango, Sigma No. 119. Fraccionamiento 20 de Noviembre II, 34220 Durango, DGO, Mexico
2Tecnología Ambiental, Universidad Politécnica de Durango, Km 9.5 Carr., 34600 Durango, DGO, Mexico
3Forestry, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Avenida Río Papaloapán s/n. Col. Valle del Sur., 34660 Durango, DGO, Mexico
4Forest Economics, Instituto Politécnico Nacional Unidad Durango, Sigma No. 119. Fraccionamiento 20 de Noviembre II, 34220 Durango, DGO, Mexico

Received 22 March 2013; Revised 29 September 2013; Accepted 7 November 2013; Published 5 January 2014

Academic Editor: Ram C. Sihag

Copyright © 2014 Jose Navar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This research examines the diversity-productivity relationship in a semiarid scrubland, initially under late successional conditions and subsequently under early successional conditions created by experimental clearing, to explore the roles that productivity and stochastic mortality play in species exclusion in this environment. A total of fifteen plots were studied by measuring environmental conditions and biomass components of shrubs and seedlings. These stands were distributed along a productivity gradient across five different landforms. A hypothesis about the stochastic self-thinning mortality model along the gradient was evaluated with the diversity-productivity-environment data. The diversity-productivity relationship was linear and reversed between the early and late succession stages. The hypothesis of stochastic mortality of species exclusion was rejected in the early stages of succession and partially accepted in the mature stage of succession. Species exclusion was negatively related to productivity gradients, suggesting that strong interspecific competition occurs in high productivity plots and that a larger number of species can survive in higher abiotic stress landscapes. Further research is needed to understand the temporal and spatial variations of the ecological interactions that shape this plant community.