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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Changes in plant functional traits and water use in Atlantic rainforest: evidence of conservative water use in spatio-temporal scales

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Rosado, Bruno H. P. [1] ; Joly, Carlos A. [2] ; Burgess, Stephen S. O. [3] ; Oliveira, Rafael S. [2] ; Aidar, Marcos P. M. [4]
Total Authors: 5
[1] Univ Estado Rio de Janeiro, IBRAG, Dept Ecol, BR-20550011 Rio De Janeiro, RJ - Brazil
[2] Univ Estadual Campinas, IB, Dept Biol Vegetal, Campinas, SP - Brazil
[3] Univ Western Australia, Sch Plant Biol, Perth, WA 6009 - Australia
[4] Inst Bot Sao Paulo, Ctr Pesquisa Ecol & Fisiol, Nucleo Pesquisa Fisiol & Bioquim, Sao Paulo, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: TREES-STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION; v. 30, n. 1, p. 47-61, FEB 2016.
Web of Science Citations: 9

Using a trait-based approach, we have identified that tropical trees are vulnerable to decreases in water availability, especially in montane areas, where higher radiation and vapor pressure deficits lead to higher water loss from trees. Changes to functional traits are useful descriptors of the response of species to variation in resource availability and environmental conditions. However, how these trait-environment relationships change with altitude remains unclear. We investigated changes in xylem sap flow along an altitudinal variation and evaluated the contribution of morphological traits to total plant water use. We hypothesize that (1) at the Montane forest, plant species will show a more conservative water use and (2) seasonally, there will be a much greater increase in conservative water use during the dry season at the Lowland site, since the climate conditions in the Montane site impose constraints to water use throughout the year. Remarkably, although water is assumed to be a non-limiting resource for Atlantic rainforest in general, we observed ecophysiological adjustments for more conservative water use in Montane forest. Our findings demonstrate that changes to water supply and demand as determined by rainfall, VPD and soil water storage can impose restrictions to water loss which differ across spatio-temporal scales. We suggest that the next steps for research in Montane forest should focus on traits related to hydraulic failure and carbon starvation to address the question whether the higher conservative water use observed at the Montane Forest translates into a higher or lower susceptibility to intensification of drought which might arise due to climate change. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 03/12595-7 - Floristic composition, structure and functioning of the Dense Rainforest nuclei of Picinguaba and Santa Virgínia of Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar, State of São Paulo, Brazil
Grantee:Carlos Alfredo Joly
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Thematic Grants