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Production Patterns Within the Tropics

Geographical patterns of primary production are similar to those of species diversity. Just as diversity is highest where stress is least, production also is highest where optimal conditions of light, nutrients, and water exist. As has been pointed out, optimal conditions exist when temperatures are between 22 and 30 °C, soils are moist but not saturated, and nutrients are present in the soil in sufficient and balanced ratios. In general, productivity declines as elevation increases (Lonsdale 1988). At high elevations, especially in cloud forests, productivity could be limited by saturated soils that limit root respiration, rocky soils, low available solar radiation due to clouds, low availability of nutrients due to their immobilization in thick layers of organic matter, heavy winds,

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