Faculty and Student Publications

Document Type


Publication Date



Understanding how species-rich communities persist is a foundational question in ecology. In tropical forests, tree diversity is structured by edaphic factors, climate, and biotic interactions, with seasonality playing an essential role at landscape scales: wetter and less seasonal forests typically harbor higher tree diversity than more seasonal forests. We posited that the abiotic factors shaping tree diversity extend to hyperdiverse symbionts in leaves—fungal endophytes—that influence plant health, function, and resilience to stress. Through surveys in forests across Panama that considered climate, seasonality, and covarying biotic factors, we demonstrate that endophyte richness varies negatively with temperature seasonality. Endophyte community structure and taxonomic composition reflect both temperature seasonality and climate (mean annual temperature and precipitation). Overall our findings highlight the vital role of climate-related factors in shaping the hyperdiversity of these important and little-known symbionts of the trees that, in turn, form the foundations of tropical forest biodiversity.

Relational Format

journal article



Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Included in

Biology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.