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Hydraulic architecture and leaf traits related to safety and efficiency of the xylem functioning of trees and lianas in two Atlantic Forest’s

Grant number: 10/11459-6
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2010 - October 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Fernando Roberto Martins
Grantee:Fernando Roberto Martins
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Arildo de Souza Dias ; Rafael Silva Oliveira

Abstract

Structural characteristics of xylem, such as wood density and mechanical strength, are strongly correlated with drought-induced embolism across wood plant species. Lianas play a key role in forest dynamics and ecosystem processes. The relationship between wood and hydraulic traits of lianas and trees in community-level has still been poorly studied in tropical forests. We aim to compare wood and leaf functional traits between lianas and trees species in two Atlantic Forests differing in rainfall and seasonality: a rainforest in the municipality of Ubatuba and a semidecidous forest in the municipality of Campinas, both in São Paulo state. For tree and liana species with ten or more individuals in an area of 1 ha, we will measure wood density, modulus of rupture (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE), specific leaf area (SLA) and foliar nitrogen content (N). We will select some of these species to measure hydraulic conductivity and cavitation resistance. We will analyze whether differences in functional traits of trees and lianas are significant through linear regressions, analysis of variance (ANOVA) e analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Since phylogeny can mislead results on the relationship among functional traits, we will compare congeneric species of lianas and trees occurring in both seasonal and rain forests to determine whether evolutionary changes in xylem structural traits and cavitation resistance are correlated. We expect that lianas will have higher foliar nitrogen concentration (N) and hydraulic conductivity and lower cavitation resistance, modulus of rupture (MOR) and modulus of elasticity (MOE). We expect trees and lianas in seasonal forest to have higher cavitation resistance than rainforest species. (AU)