Wood Nutrient-Water-Density Linkages Are Influenced by Both Species and Environment

Lira-Martins, Demetrius, Quesada, Carlos Alberto, Strekopytov, Stanislav, Humphreys-Williams, Emma, Herault, Bruno, and Lloyd, Jon (2022) Wood Nutrient-Water-Density Linkages Are Influenced by Both Species and Environment. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13. 778403.

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Abstract

Tropical trees store a large amount of nutrients in their woody tissues, thus triggering the question of what the functional association of these elements with other wood traits is. Given the osmotic activity of mineral elements such as potassium, sodium, and calcium, these elements should be strong candidates in mediating the water storing capacity in tropical trees. We investigated the role of wood nutrients in facilitating wood water storage in trees by using branch samples from 48 tropical tree species in South America and examined their associations with wood density (ρ). Wood density varied from 316 kg/m3 in Peru plots, where the soil nutrient status is relatively higher, to 908 kg/m3 in Brazil plots, where the nutrient availability is lower. Phosphorus content in wood varied significantly between plots with lowest values found in French Guiana (1.2 mol/m3) and plots with highest values found in Peru (43.6 mol/m3). Conversely, potassium in woody tissues showed a significant cross-species variation with Minquartia guianensis in Brazil showing the lowest values (8.8 mol/m3) and with Neea divaricata in Peru having the highest values (114 mol/m3). We found that lower wood density trees store more water in their woody tissues with cations, especially potassium, having a positive association with water storage. Specific relationships between wood cation concentrations and stem water storage potential nevertheless depend on both species’ identity and growing location. Tropical trees with increased water storage capacity show lower wood density and have an increased reliance on cations to regulate this reservoir. Our study highlights that cations play a more important role in tropical tree water relations than has previously been thought, with potassium being particularly important.

Item ID: 74248
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-462X
Keywords: ecophysiology, cations, potassium, tropical forests, water storage, wood traits, wood density, nutrients
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2022 Lira-Martins, Quesada, Strekopytov, Humphreys-Williams, Herault and Lloyd. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 08:08
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310806 Plant physiology @ 50%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3007 Forestry sciences > 300710 Tree nutrition and physiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2602 Forestry > 260299 Forestry not elsewhere classified @ 50%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 50%
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