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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.)

Is leaf water repellency related to vapor pressure deficit and crown exposure in tropical forests?

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Rosado, Bruno Henrique Pimentel [1, 2] ; Oliveira, Rafael Silva [1] ; Marinho Aidar, Marcos Pereira
Total Authors: 3
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, Dept Biol Vegetal, IB, BR-13083970 Campinas, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Estadual Campinas, Programa Posgrad Biol Vegetal, IB, BR-13083970 Campinas, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Web of Science Citations: 22

Environmental conditions can have major influences in shaping biophysical properties of leaf surfaces. In moist environments, high leaf water repellency (LWR) is expected because the presence of a water film on leaf surfaces can block stomatal pores, reduce the diffusion of CO(2), promote pathogen incidence, colonization of epiphylls and leaching of leaf nutrients. However, LWR can also increase in dry environments as a consequence of higher epicuticular wax deposition induced by high temperatures, high radiation loads and vapor pressure deficits (VPD), which could also lead to a high leaf mass per area (LMA). The aim of this study was to determine how LWR varies among tropical trees with contrasting crown exposures and subjected to distinct vapor pressure deficits at different altitudes in the Atlantic Rain Forest. We hypothesized that (i) LWR will be higher in overstory species because they are more frequently exposed to higher radiation and higher vapor pressure deficit; (ii) In the Montane Forest, LWR will be higher for overstory species in comparison to those in Lowland Forest because radiation and VPD increase with altitude; (iii) Overstory species will also show higher LMA in response to exposure to drier conditions. We measured LWR by observing angles of droplets on adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces in five species co-occurring at lowland and a montane forest. LWR was positively related to crown exposure and VPD at both sites but not to LMA. LWR was significantly higher in the Montane forest (mean angle 66.25 degrees) than in the Lowland forest (mean angle 61.33 degrees). We suggest that atmospheric conditions associated with contrasting crown exposures may exert important controls over leaf surface properties involved in the repellence or direct absorption of water. (C) 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved. (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