Wind dispersed tree species have greater maximum height


Our dataset provides maximum height values for 5314 tree species, of which more than half (2914) had no record of this trait in existing global databases. We found that, on average, tree species in the Americas have lower maximum heights compared to those in Africa and the Asia Pacific. The probability of wind dispersal increased significantly with tree species maximum height and was significantly higher among emergent than non-emergent tree species in both dry and wet forests in all three biogeographic regions.

Main conclusion

Wind dispersal is more prevalent in tall, emergent tree species than in non-emergent species and may thus be an important factor in the evolution of tree species maximum height. By providing the most comprehensive dataset so far of tree species maximum height and wind dispersal strategies, this study paves the way for advancing our understanding of the eco-evolutionary drivers of tree size.

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