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Trait tropical forest

Julia C Sfair, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Bráulio A Santos, Marcelo Tabarelli
Tropical forests are being exposed to increasing levels of habitat loss and fragmentation, threatening the maintenance of global biodiversity. However, the effect that land-use change may have on the spatial dissimilarities in taxonomic and functional composition of remaining assemblages (i.e., taxonomic/functional β-diversity) remains poorly understood. We examined a large vegetation database from an old and severely fragmented Atlantic forest landscape to test two alternative hypotheses: (1) tree assemblages experience a taxonomic and functional homogenization (reduced β-diversity) between forest fragments and along forest edges, or alternatively, (2) these edge-affected forests show increased taxonomic and functional differentiation (increased β-diversity) when compared to forest interior (reference) stands...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Jelena Bujan, Stephen P Yanoviak, Michael Kaspari
Desiccation resistance, the ability of an organism to reduce water loss, is an essential trait in arid habitats. Drought frequency in tropical regions is predicted to increase with climate change, and small ectotherms are often under a strong desiccation risk. We tested hypotheses regarding the underexplored desiccation potential of tropical insects. We measured desiccation resistance in 82 ant species from a Panama rainforest by recording the time ants can survive desiccation stress. Species' desiccation resistance ranged from 0...
September 2016: Ecology and Evolution
James W Dalling, Lucas A Cernusak, Klaus Winter, Jorge Aranda, Milton Garcia, Aurelio Virgo, Alexander W Cheesman, Andres Baresch, Carlos Jaramillo, Benjamin L Turner
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Conifers dominated wet lowland tropical forests 100 million years ago (MYA). With a few exceptions in the Podocarpaceae and Araucariaceae, conifers are now absent from this biome. This shift to angiosperm dominance also coincided with a large decline in atmospheric CO2 concentration (ca). We compared growth and physiological performance of two lowland tropical angiosperms and conifers at ca levels representing pre-industrial (280 ppm), ambient (400 ppm) and Eocene (800 ppm) conditions to explore how differences in ca affect the growth and water-use efficiency (WUE) of seedlings from these groups...
August 30, 2016: Annals of Botany
Caterina Penone, Ben G Weinstein, Catherine H Graham, Thomas M Brooks, Carlo Rondinini, S Blair Hedges, Ana D Davidson, Gabriel C Costa
The taxonomic, phylogenetic and trait dimensions of beta diversity each provide us unique insights into the importance of historical isolation and environmental conditions in shaping global diversity. These three dimensions should, in general, be positively correlated. However, if similar environmental conditions filter species with similar trait values, then assemblages located in similar environmental conditions, but separated by large dispersal barriers, may show high taxonomic, high phylogenetic, but low trait beta diversity...
August 31, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Kok-Boon Neoh, Lee-Jin Bong, Ahmad Muhammad, Masayuki Itoh, Osamu Kozan, Yoko Takematsu, Tsuyoshi Yoshimura
Tropical peat swamp forests in Southeast Asia account for approximately 72% of global peatland. However, extensive forest exploitation following peat drainage for agricultural expansion has been leading to catastrophic peat fires. In this study, we compared the termite assemblage in burnt and unburnt peats in Sumatra, Indonesia. We also identified which taxonomic group is particularly resistant to fire disturbance and the traits that correlate with its persistence in fire-impacted peatlands. Overall, the termite species richness in fire-impacted peats was up to 40% lower than that of the total species found in peat swamp forests...
October 2016: Environmental Entomology
Margot Neyret, Lisa Patrick Bentley, Imma Oliveras, Beatriz S Marimon, Ben Hur Marimon-Junior, Edmar Almeida de Oliveira, Fábio Barbosa Passos, Rosa Castro Ccoscco, Josias Dos Santos, Simone Matias Reis, Paulo S Morandi, Gloria Rayme Paucar, Arturo Robles Cáceres, Yolvi Valdez Tejeira, Yovana Yllanes Choque, Norma Salinas, Alexander Shenkin, Gregory P Asner, Sandra Díaz, Brian J Enquist, Yadvinder Malhi
Understanding variation in key functional traits across gradients in high diversity systems and the ecology of community changes along gradients in these systems is crucial in light of conservation and climate change. We examined inter- and intraspecific variation in leaf mass per area (LMA) of sun and shade leaves along a 3330-m elevation gradient in Peru, and in sun leaves across a forest-savanna vegetation gradient in Brazil. We also compared LMA variance ratios (T-statistics metrics) to null models to explore internal (i...
August 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Lydia Beaudrot, Kailin Kroetz, Patricia Alvarez-Loayza, Eda Amaral, Thomas Breuer, Christine Fletcher, Patrick A Jansen, David Kenfack, Marcela Guimarães Moreira Lima, Andrew R Marshall, Emanuel H Martin, Mireille Ndoundou-Hockemba, Timothy O'Brien, Jean Claude Razafimahaimodison, Hugo Romero-Saltos, Francesco Rovero, Cisquet Hector Roy, Douglas Sheil, Carlos E F Silva, Wilson Roberto Spironello, Renato Valencia, Alex Zvoleff, Jorge Ahumada, Sandy Andelman
The conservation of tropical forest carbon stocks offers the opportunity to curb climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and simultaneously conserve biodiversity. However, there has been considerable debate about the extent to which carbon stock conservation will provide benefits to biodiversity in part because whether forests that contain high carbon density in their aboveground biomass also contain high animal diversity is unknown. Here, we empirically examined medium to large bodied ground-dwelling mammal and bird (hereafter "wildlife") diversity and carbon stock levels within the tropics using camera trap and vegetation data from a pantropical network of sites...
June 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Marilyne Laurans, Gregoire Vincent
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Morphological variation in light-foraging strategies potentially plays important roles in efficient light utilization and carbon assimilation in spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments such as tropical moist forest understorey. By considering a suite of morphological traits at various hierarchical scales, we examined the functional significance of crown shape diversity and plasticity in response to canopy openness. METHODS: We conducted a field comparative study in French Guiana among tree saplings of 14 co-occurring species differing in light-niche optimum and breadth...
August 3, 2016: Annals of Botany
Gregory R Goldsmith, Lisa Patrick Bentley, Alexander Shenkin, Norma Salinas, Benjamin Blonder, Roberta E Martin, Rosa Castro-Ccossco, Percy Chambi-Porroa, Sandra Diaz, Brian J Enquist, Gregory P Asner, Yadvinder Malhi
Leaf wetting is often considered to have negative effects on plant function, such that wet environments may select for leaves with certain leaf surface, morphological, and architectural traits that reduce leaf wettability. However, there is growing recognition that leaf wetting can have positive effects. We measured variation in two traits, leaf drip tips and leaf water repellency, in a series of nine tropical forest communities occurring along a 3300-m elevation gradient in southern Peru. To extend this climatic gradient, we also assembled published leaf water repellency values from 17 additional sites...
July 27, 2016: New Phytologist
David Bauman, Olivier Raspé, Pierre Meerts, Jérôme Degreef, Jonathan Ilunga Muledi, Thomas Drouet
Ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) are highly diversified and dominant in a number of forest ecosystems. Nevertheless, their scales of spatial distribution and the underlying ecological processes remain poorly understood. Although most EMF are considered to be generalists regarding host identity, a preference toward functional strategies of host trees has never been tested. Here, the EMF community was characterised by DNA sequencing in a 10-ha tropical dry season forest-referred to as miombo-an understudied ecosystem from a mycorrhizal perspective...
October 2016: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Nur H A Bahar, F Yoko Ishida, Lasantha K Weerasinghe, Rossella Guerrieri, Odhran S O'Sullivan, Keith J Bloomfield, Gregory P Asner, Roberta E Martin, Jon Lloyd, Yadvinder Malhi, Oliver L Phillips, Patrick Meir, Norma Salinas, Eric G Cosio, Tomas F Domingues, Carlos A Quesada, Felipe Sinca, Alberto Escudero Vega, Paola P Zuloaga Ccorimanya, Jhon Del Aguila-Pasquel, Katherine Quispe Huaypar, Israel Cuba Torres, Rosalbina Butrón Loayza, Yulina Pelaez Tapia, Judit Huaman Ovalle, Benedict M Long, John R Evans, Owen K Atkin
We examined whether variations in photosynthetic capacity are linked to variations in the environment and/or associated leaf traits for tropical moist forests (TMFs) in the Andes/western Amazon regions of Peru. We compared photosynthetic capacity (maximal rate of carboxylation of Rubisco (Vcmax ), and the maximum rate of electron transport (Jmax )), leaf mass, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) per unit leaf area (Ma , Na and Pa , respectively), and chlorophyll from 210 species at 18 field sites along a 3300-m elevation gradient...
July 8, 2016: New Phytologist
Salvador González de León, Ileana Herrera, Roger Guevara
Ecological invasions are a major issue worldwide, where successful invasion depends on traits that facilitate dispersion, establishment, and population growth. The nonnative succulent plant Kalanchoe pinnata, reported as invasive in some countries, is widespread in remnants of seasonally dry tropical forest on a volcanic outcrop with high conservation value in east-central Mexico where we assessed its mating system and demographic growth and identified management strategies. To understand its local mating system, we conducted hand-pollination treatments, germination, and survival experiments...
July 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Jin Wu, Cecilia Chavana-Bryant, Neill Prohaska, Shawn P Serbin, Kaiyu Guan, Loren P Albert, Xi Yang, Willem J D van Leeuwen, Anthony John Garnello, Giordane Martins, Yadvinder Malhi, France Gerard, Raimundo Cosme Oliviera, Scott R Saleska
Leaf age structures the phenology and development of plants, as well as the evolution of leaf traits over life histories. However, a general method for efficiently estimating leaf age across forests and canopy environments is lacking. Here, we explored the potential for a statistical model, previously developed for Peruvian sunlit leaves, to consistently predict leaf ages from leaf reflectance spectra across two contrasting forests in Peru and Brazil and across diverse canopy environments. The model performed well for independent Brazilian sunlit and shade canopy leaves (R(2)  = 0...
July 6, 2016: New Phytologist
Gregory P Asner, Roberta E Martin, Christopher B Anderson, Katherine Kryston, Nicholas Vaughn, David E Knapp, Lisa Patrick Bentley, Alexander Shenkin, Norma Salinas, Felipe Sinca, Raul Tupayachi, Katherine Quispe Huaypar, Milenka Montoya Pillco, Flor Delis Ccori Álvarez, Sandra Díaz, Brian Enquist, Yadvinder Malhi
Average responses of forest foliar traits to elevation are well understood, but far less is known about trait distributional responses to elevation at multiple ecological scales. This limits our understanding of the ecological scales at which trait variation occurs in response to environmental drivers and change. We analyzed and compared multiple canopy foliar trait distributions using field sampling and airborne imaging spectroscopy along an Andes-to-Amazon elevation gradient. Field-estimated traits were generated from three community-weighting methods, and remotely sensed estimates of traits were made at three scales defined by sampling grain size and ecological extent...
June 28, 2016: New Phytologist
Radika Bhaskar, Stephen Porder, Patricia Balvanera, Erika J Edwards
We assessed the role of ecological and evolutionary processes in driving variation in leaf and litter traits related to nitrogen (N) use among tropical dry forest trees in old-growth and secondary stands in western Mexico. Our expectation was that legumes (Fabaceae), a dominant component of the regional flora, would have consistently high leaf N and therefore structure phylogenetic variation in N-related traits. We also expected ecological selection during succession for differences in nitrogen use strategies, and corresponding shifts in legume abundance...
May 2016: Ecology
Shi-Jian Yang, Mei Sun, Qiu-Yun Yang, Ren-Yi Ma, Jiao-Lin Zhang, Shi-Bao Zhang
Epiphytes are an important component of tropical and subtropical flora, and serve vital ecological functions in forest hydrology and nutrient fluxes. However, they often encounter water deficits because there is no direct contact between their roots and the soil. The strategies employed by epiphytes for maintaining water balance in relatively water-limited habitats are not completely understood. In the present study, we investigated the anatomical traits, water loss rates, and physiology of leaves and pseudobulbs of four Dendrobium species with different pseudobulb morphologies to understand the roles of leaf and pseudobulb in maintaining water balance of epiphytic orchids...
2016: AoB Plants
John S Sperry, Yujie Wang, Brett T Wolfe, D Scott Mackay, William R L Anderegg, Nate G McDowell, William T Pockman
Ecosystem models have difficulty predicting plant drought responses, partially from uncertainty in the stomatal response to water deficits in soil and atmosphere. We evaluate a 'supply-demand' theory for water-limited stomatal behavior that avoids the typical scaffold of empirical response functions. The premise is that canopy water demand is regulated in proportion to threat to supply posed by xylem cavitation and soil drying. The theory was implemented in a trait-based soil-plant-atmosphere model. The model predicted canopy transpiration (E), canopy diffusive conductance (G), and canopy xylem pressure (Pcanopy ) from soil water potential (Psoil ) and vapor pressure deficit (D)...
June 22, 2016: New Phytologist
Isabelle Laforest-Lapointe, Christian Messier, Steven W Kembel
BACKGROUND: The increasing awareness of the role of phyllosphere microbial communities in plant health calls for a greater understanding of their structure and dynamics in natural ecosystems. Since most knowledge of tree phyllosphere bacterial communities has been gathered in tropical forests, our goal was to characterize the community structure and assembly dynamics of phyllosphere epiphytic bacterial communities in temperate forests in Quebec, Canada. We targeted five dominant tree species: Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, Betula papyrifera, Abies balsamea, and Picea glauca...
2016: Microbiome
Aurélie Khimoun, Cyril Eraud, Anthony Ollivier, Emilie Arnoux, Vincent Rocheteau, Marine Bely, Emilie Lefol, Martin Delpuech, Marie-Laure Carpentier, Gilles Leblond, Anthony Levesque, Anaïs Charbonnel, Bruno Faivre, Stéphane Garnier
Habitat fragmentation is one of the most severe threats to biodiversity as it may lead to changes in population genetic structure, with ultimate modifications of species evolutionary potential and local extinctions. Nonetheless, fragmentation does not equally affect all species and identifying which ecological traits are related to species sensitivity to habitat fragmentation could help prioritization of conservation efforts. Despite the theoretical link between species ecology and extinction proneness, comparative studies explicitly testing the hypothesis that particular ecological traits underlies species-specific population structure are rare...
August 2016: Molecular Ecology
Paul-Camilo Zalamea, Benjamin L Turner, Klaus Winter, F Andrew Jones, Carolina Sarmiento, James W Dalling
Soils influence tropical forest composition at regional scales. In Panama, data on tree communities and underlying soils indicate that species frequently show distributional associations to soil phosphorus. To understand how these associations arise, we combined a pot experiment to measure seedling responses of 15 pioneer species to phosphorus addition with an analysis of the phylogenetic structure of phosphorus associations of the entire tree community. Growth responses of pioneers to phosphorus addition revealed a clear tradeoff: species from high-phosphorus sites grew fastest in the phosphorus-addition treatment, while species from low-phosphorus sites grew fastest in the low-phosphorus treatment...
October 2016: New Phytologist
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