Rainforest trees respond to drought by modifying their hydraulic architecture

Tng, David Y.P., Apgaua, Deborah M.G., Ishida, Yoko F., Mencuccini, Maurizio, Lloyd, Jon, Laurance, William F., and Laurance, Susan G.W. (2018) Rainforest trees respond to drought by modifying their hydraulic architecture. Ecology and Evolution, 8 (24). pp. 12479-12497.

PDF (Publilshed Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4601


Increased drought is forecasted for tropical regions, with severe implications for the health and function of forest ecosystems. How mature forest trees will respond to water deficit is poorly known. We investigated wood anatomy and leaf traits in lowland tropical forest trees after 24 months of experimental rainfall exclusion. Sampling sun‐exposed young canopy branches from target species, we found species‐specific systematic variation in hydraulic‐related wood anatomy and leaf traits in response to drought stress. Relative to controls, drought‐affected individuals of different tree species variously exhibited trait measures consistent with increasing hydraulic safety. These included narrower or less vessels, reduced vessel groupings, lower theoretical water conductivities, less water storage tissue and more abundant fiber in their wood, and more occluded vessels. Drought‐affected individuals also had lower leaf to twig dry mass ratios, thinner leaves, and more negative pre‐dawn or mid‐day leaf water potentials. Future studies examining both wood and leaf hydraulic traits should improve the representation of plant hydraulics within terrestrial ecosystem and biosphere models, and help fine‐tune predictions of how future climate changes will affect tropical forests globally.

Item ID: 55860
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
Keywords: drought, functional anatomy, plant hydraulics, throughfall exclusion, trait plasticity, tropical rainforest
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Additional Information:

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Future Fellowship FT130101319
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2019 00:51
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310806 Plant physiology @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 889
Last 12 Months: 135
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page