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Are Commonly Measured Functional Traits Involved in Tropical Tree Responses to Climate?

Abstract : Climate models predict significant rainfall reduction in Amazonia, reducing water availability for trees. We present how functional traits modulate the tree growth response to climate. We used data from 3 years of bimestrial growth measurements for 204 trees of 53 species in the forest of Paracou, French Guiana. We integrated climate variables from an eddy covariance tower and functional trait values describing life history, leaf, and stem economics. Our results indicated that the measured functional traits are to some extent linked to the response of trees to climate but they are poor predictors of the tree climate-induced growth variation. Tree growth was affected by water availability for most of the species with different species growth strategies in drought conditions. These strategies were linked to some functional traits, especially maximum height and wood density. These results suggest that (i) trees seem adapted to the dry season at Paracou but they show different growth responses to drought, (ii) drought response is linked to growth strategy and is partly explained by functional traits, and (iii) the limited part of the variation of tree growth explained by functional traits may be a strong limiting factor for the prediction of tree growth response to climate.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-01555344
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Fabien Wagner, Vivien Rossi, Christopher Baraloto, Damien Bonal, Clément Stahl, et al.. Are Commonly Measured Functional Traits Involved in Tropical Tree Responses to Climate?. International Journal of Ecology, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2014, 2014, pp.1 - 10 / 389409. ⟨10.1155/2014/389409⟩. ⟨hal-01555344⟩

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