Each tropical and subtropical forest canopy species may create specific microsite conditions below its crown, which works as a filter for those species that attempt to regenerate below it. In function of the permeability or impermeability level, each canopy species could partially determine a plant community structure and composition beneath its crown projection. Therefore, present and future forest plant community biodiversity could be partially determined by the present structure of the canopy tree species community (filter effect). Some theoretical and practical aftermaths are suggested.
tropical forest dynamics; tree regeneration; gap dynamics; ecological filters; forest biodiversity