2018
DOI: 10.1002/eap.1715
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Tree leaf trade‐offs are stronger for sub‐canopy trees: leaf traits reveal little about growth rates in canopy trees

Abstract: Can morphological plant functional traits predict demographic rates (e.g., growth) within plant communities as diverse as tropical forests? This is one of the most important next-step questions in trait-based ecology and particularly for global reforestation efforts. Due to the diversity of tropical tree species and their longevity, it is difficult to predict their performance prior to reforestation efforts. In this study, we investigate if simple leaf traits are predictors of the more complex ecological proce… Show more

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Cited by 17 publications
(12 citation statements)
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References 34 publications
(76 reference statements)
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“…Just as in the verbal models of the older literature, the Gibert/Falster theory can generate a scenario—concerning large trees—where growth rates (absolute or relative) and SLA may become negatively correlated. Indeed, this is what was found here ( r 2 = 0.21–0.34, depending which variant of GR was considered), in a recent study also concerning forest trees in the northern Queensland region (Wills et al 2018), and in an older study of Neotropical rainforest species (Poorter et al 2008). In the case of Poorter et al , who considered relative growth rate (RGR) rather than absolute growth rate, the authors questioned the validity of this negative relationship.…”
Section: Discussionsupporting
confidence: 88%
“…Just as in the verbal models of the older literature, the Gibert/Falster theory can generate a scenario—concerning large trees—where growth rates (absolute or relative) and SLA may become negatively correlated. Indeed, this is what was found here ( r 2 = 0.21–0.34, depending which variant of GR was considered), in a recent study also concerning forest trees in the northern Queensland region (Wills et al 2018), and in an older study of Neotropical rainforest species (Poorter et al 2008). In the case of Poorter et al , who considered relative growth rate (RGR) rather than absolute growth rate, the authors questioned the validity of this negative relationship.…”
Section: Discussionsupporting
confidence: 88%
“…The increase of Pioneers and Large‐Seeded Pioneers we observed corresponds to increased regeneration opportunities in treefall gaps (Chami et al, ). It agrees with the well‐documented replacement of species groups during gap‐phase dynamics from stress‐tolerant species adapted to shade (high wood density, slow growth, large seeds, shallow crown) to competitive species adapted to resource‐rich environments (lightwood, fast‐growing, large leaves with high SLA, deep crowns, small seeds)(Wright et al, ; Grime & Pierce, ; Muscolo et al, ; Forgiarini, Souza, Longhi, & Oliveira, , but see Falster et al, ; Wills et al, ).…”
Section: Discussionsupporting
confidence: 83%
“…However, these forests did not show any changes in tree density, and their overall structure, including sapling and pole densities, approached that of unlogged stands (Souza et al, ). Their community‐weighted leaf length and crown depths approached the levels found in unlogged forests, while their reduced CWM seed size and height, and increased crown depth and SLA indicate functional relevance of fast‐growth resource‐acquiring strategies (Forgiarini et al, ; Grime & Pierce, ; Wright et al, ), although SLA may not be much influential for canopy trees (Falster et al, ; Wills et al, ). The logging of Wind Dispersed Large Trees and the long‐lived pioneers probably set subtropical Atlantic forests on a successional trajectory that proceeds without these functional groups (Edwards et al, ).…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 97%
“…We here refer to growth rates in a common garden without light competition as potential growth, which are not necessarily maximum growth rates as factors other than light may be limiting. Interpretation of trait: growth relationships might differ substantially depending on the presence or absence of light competition and it has also been shown that the correlation is higher in saplings than in large trees (Wills et al, 2018;Wright et al, 2010).…”
Section: Introductionmentioning
confidence: 99%