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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.)

Expanding our understanding of leaf functional syndromes in savanna systems: the role of plant growth form

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Author(s):
Rossatto, Davi Rodrigo ; Franco, Augusto Cesar
Total Authors: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: Oecologia; v. 183, n. 4, p. 953-962, APR 2017.
Web of Science Citations: 9
Abstract

The assessment of leaf strategies has been a common theme in ecology, especially where multiple sources of environmental constraints (fire, seasonal drought, nutrient-poor soils) impose a strong selection pressure towards leaf functional diversity, leading to inevitable tradeoffs among leaf traits, and ultimately to niche segregation among coexisting species. As diversification on leaf functional strategies is dependent on integration at whole plant level, we hypothesized that regardless of phylogenetic relatedness, leaf trait functional syndromes in a multivariate space would be associated with the type of growth form. We measured traits related to leaf gas exchange, structure and nutrient status in 57 coexisting species encompassing all Angiosperms major clades, in a wide array of plant morphologies (trees, shrubs, sub-shrubs, herbs, grasses and palms) in a savanna of Central Brazil. Growth forms differed in mean values for the studied functional leaf traits. We extracted 4 groups of functional typologies: grasses (elevated leaf dark respiration, light-saturated photosynthesis on a leaf mass and area basis, lower values of leaf Ca and Mg), herbs (high values of SLA, leaf N and leaf Fe), palms (high values of stomatal conductance, leaf transpiration and leaf K) and woody eudicots (sub-shrubs, shrubs and trees; low SLA and high leaf Ca and Mg). Despite the large range of variation among species for each individual trait and the independent evolutionary trajectory of individual species, growth forms were strongly associated with particular leaf trait combinations, suggesting clear evolutionary constraints on leaf function for morphologically similar species in savanna ecosystems. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/18049-6 - The diversity of ecophysiological strategies in a Cerrado herbaceous communities: a case study involving distinct environmental constraints
Grantee:Davi Rodrigo Rossatto
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Young Investigators Grants