Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 427439
Title Architecture of Iberian canopy tree species in relation to wood density, shade tolerance and climate
Author(s) Poorter, L.; Lianes, E.; Moreno-de las Heras, M.; Zavala, M.A.
Source Plant Ecology 213 (2012)5. - ISSN 1385-0237 - p. 707 - 722.
Department(s) Forest Ecology and Forest Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) life-history variation - tropical trees - trade-offs - panamanian forest - allometry - traits - growth - differentiation - constraints - performance
Abstract Tree architecture has important consequences for tree performance as it determines resource capture, mechanical stability and dominance over competitors. We analyzed architectural relationships between stem and crown dimensions for 13 dominant Iberian canopy tree species belonging to the Pinaceae (six Pinus species) and Fagaceae (six Quercus species and Fagus sylvatica) and related these architectural traits to wood density, shade tolerance and climatic factors. Fagaceae had, compared with Pinaceae, denser wood, saplings with wider crowns and adults with larger maximal crown size but smaller maximal height. In combination, these traits enhance light acquisition and persistence in shaded environments; thus, contributing to their shade tolerance. Pinaceae species, in contrast, had low-density wood, allocate more resources to the formation of the central trunk rather than to branches and attained taller maximal heights, allowing them to grow rapidly in height and compete for light following disturbances; thus, contributing to their high light requirements. Wood density had a strong relationship with tree architecture, with dense-wooded species having smaller maximum height and wider crowns, probably because of cheaper expansion costs for producing biomechanically stable branches. Species from arid environments had shorter stems and shallower crowns for a given stem diameter, probably to reduce hydraulic path length and assure water transport. Wood density is an important correlate of variation in tree architecture between species and the two dominant families, with potentially large implications for their resource foraging strategies and successional dynamics.
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