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Trait tropical forest

Emerson Pontes-da-Silva, William E Magnusson, Barry Sinervo, Gabriel H Caetano, Donald B Miles, Guarino R Colli, Luisa M Diele-Viegas, Jessica Fenker, Juan C Santos, Fernanda P Werneck
Temperature increases can impact biodiversity and predicting their effects is one of the main challenges facing global climate-change research. Ectotherms are sensitive to temperature change and, although predictions indicate that tropical species are highly vulnerable to global warming, they remain one of the least studied groups with respect to the extent of physiological variation and local extinction risks. We model the extinction risks for a tropical heliothermic teiid lizard (Kentropyx calcarata) integrating previously obtained information on intraspecific phylogeographic structure, eco-physiological traits and contemporary species distributions in the Amazon rainforest and its ecotone to the Cerrado savannah...
April 2018: Journal of Thermal Biology
James R Smith, Jaboury Ghazoul, David F R P Burslem, Akira Itoh, Eyen Khoo, Soon Leong Lee, Colin R Maycock, Satoshi Nanami, Kevin Kit Siong Ng, Chris J Kettle
Documenting the scale and intensity of fine-scale spatial genetic structure (FSGS), and the processes that shape it, is relevant to the sustainable management of genetic resources in timber tree species, particularly where logging or fragmentation might disrupt gene flow. In this study we assessed patterns of FSGS in three species of Dipterocarpaceae (Parashorea tomentella, Shorea leprosula and Shorea parvifolia) across four different tropical rain forests in Malaysia using nuclear microsatellite markers. Topographic heterogeneity varied across the sites...
2018: PloS One
Alys Granados, Henry Bernard, Jedediah F Brodie
Animals can have both positive (e.g. via seed dispersal) and negative (e.g. via herbivory) impacts on plants. The net effects of these interactions remain difficult to predict and may be affected by overhunting and habitat disturbance, two widespread threats to tropical forests. Recent studies have documented their separate effects on plant recruitment but our understanding of how defaunation and logging interact to influence tropical tree communities is limited. From 2013 to 2016, we followed the fate of marked tree seedlings ( n = 1489) from 81 genera in and outside experimental plots...
February 28, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Louis S Santiago, Mark E De Guzman, Christopher Baraloto, Jacob E Vogenberg, Max Brodie, Bruno Hérault, Claire Fortunel, Damien Bonal
Predicting responses of tropical forests to climate change-type drought is challenging because of high species diversity. Detailed characterization of tropical tree hydraulic physiology is necessary to evaluate community drought vulnerability and improve model parameterization. Here, we measured xylem hydraulic conductivity (hydraulic efficiency), xylem vulnerability curves (hydraulic safety), sapwood pressure-volume curves (drought avoidance) and wood density on emergent branches of 14 common species of Eastern Amazonian canopy trees in Paracou, French Guiana across species with the densest and lightest wood in the plot...
February 19, 2018: New Phytologist
Phyllis D Coley, María-José Endara, Thomas A Kursar
We summarize work on a speciose Neotropical tree genus, Inga (Fabaceae), examining how interspecific variation in anti-herbivore defenses may have evolved, how defenses shape host choice by herbivores and how they might regulate community composition and influence species radiations. Defenses of expanding leaves include secondary metabolites, extrafloral nectaries, rapid leaf expansion, trichomes, and synchrony and timing of leaf production. These six classes of defenses are orthogonal, supporting independent evolutionary trajectories...
February 10, 2018: Oecologia
Arideep Mukherjee, Madhoolika Agrawal
Responses of urban vegetation to air pollution stress in relation to their tolerance and sensitivity have been extensively studied, however, studies related to air pollution responses based on different leaf functional traits and tree characteristics are limited. In this paper, we have tried to assess combined and individual effects of major air pollutants PM 10 (particulate matter ≤ 10 µm), TSP (total suspended particulate matter), SO 2 (sulphur dioxide), NO 2 (nitrogen dioxide) and O 3 (ozone) on thirteen tropical tree species in relation to fifteen leaf functional traits and different tree characteristics...
February 1, 2018: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Vinicius Guerra, Diego Llusia, Priscilla Guedes Gambale, Alessandro Ribeiro de Morais, Rafael Márquez, Rogério Pereira Bastos
Advertisement calls are often used as essential basic information in studies of animal behaviour, ecology, evolution, conservation, taxonomy or biodiversity inventories. Yet the description of this type of acoustic signals is far to be completed, especially in tropical regions, and is frequently non-standardized or limited in information, restricting the application of bioacoustics in science. Here we conducted a scientometric review of the described adverstisement calls of anuran species of Brazil, the world richest territory in anurans, to evaluate the amount, standard and trends of the knowledge on this key life-history trait and to identify gaps and directions for future research strategies...
2018: PloS One
Aniruddh Sastry, Anirban Guha, Deepak Barua
Understanding how tropical trees will respond to extreme temperatures and drought is essential to predict how future increases in the severity, frequency and duration of extreme climatic events will affect tropical systems. In this study, we investigated leaf thermotolerance by quantifying the temperatures that resulted in a 50 % decrease in photosystem II function (T50) in experimentally grown saplings of 12 tree species from a seasonally dry tropical forest. We examined the relationship of thermotolerance with leaf functional traits and photosynthetic rates...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Kwaku Aduse-Poku, Freerk Molleman, William Oduro, Samuel K Oppong, David J Lohman, Rampal S Etienne
The unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography has gained the status of a quantitative null model for explaining patterns in ecological (meta)communities. The theory assumes that individuals of trophically similar species are functionally equivalent. We empirically evaluate the relative contribution of neutral and deterministic processes in shaping fruit-feeding butterfly assemblages in three tropical forests in Africa, using both direct (confronting the neutral model with species abundance data) and indirect approaches (testing the predictions of neutral theory using data other than species abundance distributions)...
January 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Nalaka Geekiyanage, Uromi Manage Goodale, Kunfang Cao, Kaoru Kitajima
Karst hills, that is, jagged topography created by dissolution of limestone and other soluble rocks, are distributed extensively in tropical forest regions, including southern parts of China. They are characterized by a sharp mosaic of water and nutrient availability, from exposed hilltops with poor soil development to valleys with occasional flooding, to which trees show species-specific distributions. Here we report the relationship of leaf functional traits to habitat preference of tropical karst trees. We described leaf traits of 19 tropical tree species in a seasonal karst rainforest in Guangxi Province, China, 12 species in situ and 13 ex situ in a non-karst arboretum, which served as a common garden, with six species sampled in both...
January 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Géraldine Derroire, Jennifer S Powers, Catherine M Hulshof, Luis E Cárdenas Varela, John R Healey
A coordinated response to environmental drivers amongst individual functional traits is central to the plant strategy concept. However, whether the trait co-ordination observed at the global scale occurs at other ecological scales (especially within species) remains an open question. Here, for sapling communities of two tropical dry forest types in Costa Rica, we show large differences amongst traits in the relative contribution of species turnover and intraspecific variation to their directional changes in response to environmental changes along a successional gradient...
January 10, 2018: Scientific Reports
Marcos Roberto Dias Batista, Felipe Bastos Rocha, Louis Bernard Klaczko
Variation of ecophysiological traits may help to explain geographic distribution patterns of Drosophila sibling species. Many traits in ectotherms have optimal performance within specific temperature ranges. Altitudinal gradients are potentially informative for characterizing differences of sibling species distributions. We collected two sibling species of the tripunctata group - Drosophila mediopunctata (MPT) and D. unipunctata (UNI) - at eight altitudes (ranging from 593 to 1185m above sea level) located at a continuous Atlantic Rainforest reserve in consecutive years (2009-2011), with two collections at the hot-rainy season and two at the cold-dry season...
January 2018: Journal of Thermal Biology
Hua-Feng Wang, Meng Xu
Research on individual trait variation has gained much attention because of its implication for ecosystem functions and community ecology. The effect of individual variation on population and community abundance (number of individuals) variation remains scarcely tested. Using two established ecological scaling laws (Taylor's law and abundance-size relationship), we derived a new scaling relationship between the individual size variation and spatial variation of abundance. Tested against multi-plot tree data from Diaoluo Mountain tropical forest in Hainan, China, the new scaling relationship showed that individual size variation reduced the spatial variation of community assemblage abundance, but not of taxon-specific population abundance...
December 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Bachelot Benedicte, María Uriarte, Robert Muscarella, Jimena Forero-Montaña, Jill Thompson, Krista McGuire, Jess Zimmerman, Nathan G Swenson, James S Clark
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in the soil may influence tropical tree dynamics and forest succession. The mechanisms are poorly understood, because the functional characteristics and abundances of tree species and AM fungi are likely to be codependent. We used generalized joint attribute modeling to evaluate if AM fungi are associated with three forest community metrics for a sub-tropical montane forest in Puerto Rico. The metrics chosen to reflect changes during forest succession are: the abundance of seedlings of different successional status, the amount of foliar damage on seedlings of different successional status, and community-weighted mean functional trait values (adult specific leaf area (SLA), adult wood density, and seed mass)...
December 27, 2017: Ecology
Edgard David Mason-Romo, Ariel A Farías, Gerardo Ceballos
Understanding the effects of global climate disruption on biodiversity is important to future conservation efforts. While taxonomic diversity is widely studied, functional diversity of plants, and recently animals, is receiving increasing attention. Most studies of mammals are short-term, focus on temperate habitats, and rely on traits described in the literature rather than generating traits from observations. Unlike previous studies, this long-term field study assessed the factors driving the functional and taxonomic diversity of small-mammal assemblages in dry tropical forests using both traits recorded from literature and a demographic database...
2017: PloS One
Marcelo Fernando Devecchi, William Wayt Thomas, Gregory M Plunkett, José Rubens Pirani
Generic circumscriptions in the mostly pantropical family Simaroubaceae are somewhat controversial. Simaba is the largest genus, currently defined as exclusively neotropical, with around 25 species of trees and shrubs, but both its limits and infrageneric classification have been a matter of discussion and divergence. Traditionally, species of the genus have been treated in three sections: Simaba sect. Tenuiflorae, S. sect. Floribundae and S. sect. Grandiflorae, but a phylogenetic analysis suggested that the latter two may not be monophyletic...
March 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Cleiton B Eller, Fernanda de V Barros, Paulo R L Bittencourt, Lucy Rowland, Maurizio Mencuccini, Rafael S Oliveira
Faster growth in tropical trees is usually associated with higher mortality rates, but the mechanisms underlying this relationship are poorly understood. In this study, we investigate how tree growth patterns are linked with environmental conditions and hydraulic traits, by monitoring the cambial growth of 9 tropical cloud forest tree species coupled with numerical simulations using an optimization model. We find that fast-growing trees have lower xylem safety margins than slow-growing trees and this pattern is not necessarily linked to differences in stomatal behaviour or environmental conditions when growth occurs...
March 2018: Plant, Cell & Environment
Catalina Cruz-Piedrahita, Carlos A Navas, Andrew J Crawford
A key goal of ecology and evolution is to understand the relative contributions of environment and history in determining the geographic distribution of organisms. For the Neotropical lowlands, where temperatures are similar across landscapes, we hypothesize that water balance may be a critical but understudied factor in determining the distribution of species. Amphibians are especially sensitive to variation in precipitation due to their permeable skin. Here we focused on lowland frogs of northwestern South America and investigated variation among 17 species in potentially important ecologically relevant performance variables related to water balance, testing for possible adaptations to semiarid conditions within species...
January 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Qiulong Yin, Lei Wang, Maolin Lei, Han Dang, Jiaxin Quan, Tingting Tian, Yongfu Chai, Ming Yue
Leaf economics and hydraulic traits are simultaneously involved in the process of trading water for CO2 , but the relationships between these two suites of traits remain ambiguous. Recently, Li et al. (2015) reported that leaf economics and hydraulic traits were decoupled in five tropical-subtropical forests in China. We tested the hypothesis that the relationships between economics and hydraulic traits may depend on water availability. We analysed five leaf economics traits, four hydraulic traits and anatomical structures of 47 woody species on the Loess Plateau with poor water availability and compared those data with Li et al...
April 15, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
José Said Gutiérrez-Ortega, Takashi Yamamoto, Andrew P Vovides, Miguel Angel Pérez-Farrera, José F Martínez, Francisco Molina-Freaner, Yasuyuki Watano, Tadashi Kajita
Background and Aims: Aridification is considered a selective pressure that might have influenced plant diversification. It is suggested that plants adapted to aridity diversified during the Miocene, an epoch of global aridification (≈15 million years ago). However, evidence supporting diversification being a direct response to aridity is scarce, and multidisciplinary evidence, besides just phylogenetic estimations, is necessary to support the idea that aridification has driven diversification...
November 16, 2017: Annals of Botany
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