Interaction between light and drought affect performance of Asian tropical tree species that have differing topographic affinities

Ashton, Mark S., Singhakumarab, B.M.P. and Gamage, Harshi K. (2006) Interaction between light and drought affect performance of Asian tropical tree species that have differing topographic affinities. Forest Ecology and Management, 221 1-3: 42-51. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2005.09.017


Author Ashton, Mark S.
Singhakumarab, B.M.P.
Gamage, Harshi K.
Title Interaction between light and drought affect performance of Asian tropical tree species that have differing topographic affinities
Journal name Forest Ecology and Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-1127
1872-7042
Publication date 2006-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.foreco.2005.09.017
Open Access Status
Volume 221
Issue 1-3
Start page 42
End page 51
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
0705 Forestry Sciences
Abstract We studied two pairs of congeneric species (Dipterocarpus hispidus, Dipterocarpus zeylanicus, Mesua ferrea, and Mesua nagassarium). These species are canopy trees of rain forest in south-west Sri Lanka that exhibit differing topographic affinities. We hypothesized that topographic affinity is related to successional status and species ability to endure drought. We tested for these changes by measuring morphology of seedlings growing with each other in differing combinations of light and water. We constructed shade houses with a range of photosynthetic photon flux densities (PFD) and red:far red (R:FR) ratios. Two watering regimes within shade treatments created soil conditions that were either evermoist or periodically dry. Seedlings of the four species were inter-planted at equal spacing within large flats. They were allowed to grow amongst each other for a 2-year period. The more shade-intolerant Dipterocarpus spp. exhibited greater morphological responsiveness to increases in irradiance than the more shade-tolerant Mesua spp. We also demonstrate that all four species differ substantially from each other when morphological attributes (height, dry mass, leaf area) are compared together. Differences among these four species can be logically explained by their sequential competitive exclusion in relation to increasingly limited resources of light and soil water. In high light and evermoist soil conditions D. zeylanicus performs best. Under deep shade Mesua spp. have greater height than Dipterocarpus spp. When soil water is limiting, and the level of shade intermittent, M. nagassarium has greater height than the other three species. These results conform to species observed topographic distribution in the forest. Further studies are needed of wild populations growing across a range of forest sites to confirm whether these four species differ when grown under natural field conditions.
Keyword Dipterocarpus hispidus
Dipterocarpus zeylanicus
Dry mass allocation
Irradiance
Mesua ferrea
Mesua nagassarium
Mixed-dipterocarp forest
Red:far red ratio
Sri Lanka
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

 
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