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|Title:||Foliar trait contrasts between African forest and savanna trees: Genetic versus environmental effects|
Feldpausch, Ted R.
Quesada, Carlos Alberto
Ishida, Francoise Yoko
Djagbletey, Gloria Djaney
Hiernaux, Pierre H.Y.
Bird, Michael I.
Lewis, Simon L.
Veenendaal, Elmar M.
Leaf Area Index
|metadata.dc.publisher.journal:||Functional Plant Biology|
|metadata.dc.relation.ispartof:||Volume 42, Número 1, Pags. 63-83|
|Abstract:||Variations in leaf mass per unit area (Ma) and foliar concentrations of N, P, C, K, Mg and Ca were determined for 365 trees growing in 23 plots along a West African precipitation gradient ranging from 0.29 to 1.62m a-1. Contrary to previous studies, no marked increase in Ma with declining precipitation was observed, but savanna tree foliar [N] tended to be higher at the drier sites (mass basis). Generally, Ma was slightly higher and [N] slightly lower for forest vs savanna trees with most of this difference attributable to differences in soil chemistry. No systematic variations in [P], [Mg] and [Ca] with precipitation or between trees of forest vs savanna stands were observed. We did, however, find a marked increase in foliar [K] of savanna trees as precipitation declined, with savanna trees also having a significantly lower [K] than those of nearby forest. These differences were not related to differences in soil nutrient status and were accompanied by systematic changes in [C] of opposite sign. We suggest an important but as yet unidentified role for K in the adaption of savanna species to periods of limited water availability; with foliar [K] being also an important factor differentiating tree species adapted to forest vs savanna soils within the 'zone of transition' of Western Africa. © CSIRO 2015.|
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