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Trait tropical forest

Jacqueline Heckenhauer, Rosabelle Samuel, Peter S Ashton, Kamariah Abu Salim, Ovidiu Paun
A supra-annual, community-level synchronous flowering prevails in several parts of the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and its evolution has been hypothesized to be linked to pollinator shifts. The aseasonal Southeast Asian lowland rainforests are dominated by Dipterocarpaceae, which exhibit great floral diversity, a range of pollination syndromes and include species with annual and supra-annual gregarious flowering. Phylogenetic relationships within this family are still unclear, especially in the tribe Shoreeae...
May 17, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Lourens Poorter, Carolina V Castilho, Juliana Schietti, Rafael S Oliveira, Flávia R C Costa
The functional trait approach has, as a central tenet, that plant traits are functional and shape individual performance, but this has rarely been tested in the field. Here, we tested the individual-based trait approach in a hyperdiverse Amazonian tropical rainforest and evaluated intraspecific variation in trait values, plant strategies at the individual level, and whether traits are functional and predict individual performance. We evaluated > 1300 tree saplings belonging to > 383 species, measured 25 traits related to growth and defense, and evaluated the effects of environmental conditions, plant size, and traits on stem growth...
May 18, 2018: New Phytologist
Jeanne L D Osnas, Masatoshi Katabuchi, Kaoru Kitajima, S Joseph Wright, Peter B Reich, Sunshine A Van Bael, Nathan J B Kraft, Mirna J Samaniego, Stephen W Pacala, Jeremy W Lichstein
Understanding variation in leaf functional traits-including rates of photosynthesis and respiration and concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus-is a fundamental challenge in plant ecophysiology. When expressed per unit leaf area, these traits typically increase with leaf mass per area ( LMA ) within species but are roughly independent of LMA across the global flora. LMA is determined by mass components with different biological functions, including photosynthetic mass that largely determines metabolic rates and contains most nitrogen and phosphorus, and structural mass that affects toughness and leaf lifespan ( LL )...
May 3, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Mason J Campbell, Will Edwards, Ainhoa Magrach, Mohammed Alamgir, Gabriel Porolak, D Mohandass, William F Laurance
Closed-canopy forests are being rapidly fragmented across much of the tropical world. Determining the impacts of fragmentation on ecological processes enables better forest management and improves species-conservation outcomes. Lianas are an integral part of tropical forests but can have detrimental and potentially complex interactions with their host trees. These effects can include reduced tree growth and fecundity, elevated tree mortality, alterations in tree-species composition, degradation of forest succession, and a substantial decline in forest carbon storage...
April 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Jennifer C McElwain
Human carbon use during the next century will lead to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (pCO2 ) that have been unprecedented for the past 50-100+ million years according to fossil plant-based CO2 estimates. The paleobotanical record of plants offers key insights into vegetation responses to past global change, including suitable analogs for Earth's climatic future. Past global warming events have resulted in transient poleward migration at rates that are equivalent to the lowest climate velocities required for current taxa to keep pace with climate change...
April 29, 2018: Annual Review of Plant Biology
Jarrah Wills, John Herbohn, Jing Hu, Shawkat Sohel, Jack Baynes, Jennifer Firn
Can morphological plant functional traits predict demographic rates (e.g., growth) within plant communities as diverse as tropical forests? This is one of the most important next-step questions in trait-based ecology and particularly for global reforestation efforts. Due to the diversity of tropical tree species and their longevity, it is difficult to predict their performance prior to reforestation efforts. In this study, we investigate if simple leaf traits are predictors of the more complex ecological process of plant growth in regenerating selectively logged natural forest within the Wet Tropics (WTs) bioregion of Australia...
April 26, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Sylvanus Mensah, Ben du Toit, Thomas Seifert
Forest stratification plays a crucial role in light interception and plant photosynthetic activities. However, despite the increased number of studies on biodiversity-ecosystem function, we still lack information on how stratification in tropical forests modulates biodiversity effects. Moreover, there is less investigation and argument on the role of species and functional traits in forest layers. Here, we analysed from a perspective of forest layer (sub-canopy, canopy and emergent species layers), the relationship between diversity and aboveground biomass (AGB), focusing on functional diversity and dominance, and underlying mechanisms such as niche complementarity and selection...
April 24, 2018: Oecologia
Daniela Boanares, Rosy Mary Dos Santos Isaias, Hildeberto Caldas de Sousa, Alessandra Rodrigues Kozovits
- The ability of leaves to absorb fog water can positively contribute to the water and carbon balance of plants in montane ecosystems, especially in periods of soil water deficit. However, the ecophysiological traits and mechanisms responsible for variations in the speed and total water absorption capacity of leaves are still poorly known. - This study investigated leaf anatomical attributes of seven species occurring in seasonal tropical high-altitude ecosystems (rocky outcrop and forest), which could explain differences in leaf water uptake (LWU) capacities...
April 19, 2018: Plant Biology
Yuxin Chen, María Natalia Umaña, María Uriarte, Shixiao Yu
Why tropical forests harbour an exceptional number of species with striking differences in abundances remains an open question. We propose a theoretical framework to address this question in which rare species may have different extirpation risks depending on species ranks in tree growth and sensitivities to neighbourhood interactions. To evaluate the framework, we studied tree growth and its responses to neighbourhood dissimilarity (ND) in traits and phylogeny for 146 species in a neotropical forest. We found that tree growth was positively related to ND, and common species were more strongly affected by ND than rare species, which may help delay dominance of common species...
April 11, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Michelle Ramos-Robles, Wesley Dáttilo, Cecilia Díaz-Castelazo, Ellen Andresen
Interactions between fleshy fruited plants and frugivores are crucial for the structuring and functioning of biotic communities, particularly in tropical forests where both groups are diverse and play different roles in network organization. However, it remains poorly understood how different groups of frugivore species and fruit traits contribute to network structure. We recorded interactions among 28 plant species and three groups of frugivores (birds, bats, and non-flying mammals) in a seasonal forest in Mexico to determine which species contribute more to network structure and evaluate the importance of each species...
April 2, 2018: Die Naturwissenschaften
Sophie Fauset, Helber C Freitas, David R Galbraith, Martin J P Sullivan, Marcos P M Aidar, Carlos A Joly, Oliver L Phillips, Simone A Vieira, Manuel U Gloor
Given anticipated climate changes, it is crucial to understand controls on leaf temperatures including variation between species in diverse ecosystems. In the first study of leaf energy balance in tropical montane forests, we observed current leaf temperature patterns on three tree species in the Atlantic forest, Brazil, over a 10-day period, and assessed whether and why patterns may vary among species. We found large leaf-to-air temperature differences (maximum 18.3°C) and high leaf temperatures (over 35°C) despite much lower air temperatures (maximum 22°C)...
March 30, 2018: Plant, Cell & Environment
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...
May 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 PM10 (particulate matter ≤ 10 µm), TSP (total suspended particulate matter), SO2 (sulphur dioxide), NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and O3 (ozone) on thirteen tropical tree species in relation to fifteen leaf functional traits and different tree characteristics...
May 15, 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
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