Community phylogeny and spatial scale affect phylogenetic diversity metrics in a species-rich rainforest in Borneo
Community phylogenetic analysis is an effective approach to understanding the process of community formation. The phylogenetic tree of the species pool is reconstructed in the first step, and the phylogenetic tree obtained in the second step is used to analyze phylogenetic diversity. Sythetic trees have often been used in the construction of phylogenentic trees; however, in tropical rainforests with many closely related species, synthetic trees contain many unresolved nodes, which may affect the results of phylogenetic structure analysis. Here, we constructed a phylogenetic tree using DNA barcode sequences (rbcL, matK, trnH-psbA) for 737 tree species from the rainforests of Borneo, which have a high-species diversity and many closely related species. The phylogenetic tree had fewer polytomies and more branch length variations than the Phylocom synthetic trees. Comparison of community phylogenetic analyses indicated that values of the standardized effect size of mean pairwise distance (SES–MPD) were highly correlated between Phylocom and DNA barcode trees, but less so for the standardized effect size of mean nearest taxon distance (SES–MNTD), suggesting that caution is needed when using synthetic trees for communities containing many congeneric species, especially when using SES–MNTD. Simulation analysis suggested that spatial dependence on phylogenetic diversity is related to the phylogenetic signal of the species' habitat niche and the spatial structure of habitat, indicating the importance of detailed phylogeny in understanding community assembly processes.