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Functional leaf trait diversity of 10 tree species in Congolese secondary tropical forest

Hans Verbeeck (UGent) , Efuetacha Betehndoh Nchufang (UGent) , Wouter Maes (UGent) , Wannes Hubau (UGent) , Elizabeth Kearsley (UGent) , Len Buggenhout (UGent) , Koen Hufkens (UGent) , Dries Huygens (UGent) , Joris Van Acker (UGent) , Hans Beeckman, et al.
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Abstract
The Congo Basin has a large secondary forest area. Nevertheless, global plant trait databases lack substantial data from this biome and functional trait diversity is largely unknown. We analysed a unique leaf trait dataset (specific leaf area, nutrient and isotope concentrations) collected from 88 individual trees belonging to 10 different species in tropical lowland forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The trait data were found to be consistent with global datasets. delta N-15 was the only trait significantly influenced by plot location. For all other leaf traits, shade tolerance was a significant factor. The species factor was significant within each shade tolerance class. This shows that shade tolerance is an important but not exclusive factor determining functional diversity. Tree height had significant influence on delta C-13, specific leaf area and area-based nutrient concentrations. Higher individual trees had thicker sun-adapted leaves, regardless of the species. A principal component analysis (PCA) resulted in three significant ordination axes: leaf-thickness, N-content and P-content. By hierarchical clustering of the PCA scores, four functional groups were distinguished. This showed that species with diverse strategies coexisted in the ecosystem.
Keywords
PHOTOSYNTHESIS, PHOSPHORUS, NITROGEN, wood density, phosphorus, specific leaf area, CLIMATE, nitrogen, FOLIAR, Isotopes, BASIN

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Chicago
Verbeeck, Hans, Efuetacha Betehndoh Nchufang, Wouter Maes, Wannes Hubau, Elizabeth Kearsley, Len Buggenhout, Koen Hufkens, et al. 2014. “Functional Leaf Trait Diversity of 10 Tree Species in Congolese Secondary Tropical Forest.” Journal of Tropical Forest Science 26 (3): 409–419.
APA
Verbeeck, H., Nchufang, E. B., Maes, W., Hubau, W., Kearsley, E., Buggenhout, L., Hufkens, K., et al. (2014). Functional leaf trait diversity of 10 tree species in Congolese secondary tropical forest. JOURNAL OF TROPICAL FOREST SCIENCE, 26(3), 409–419.
Vancouver
1.
Verbeeck H, Nchufang EB, Maes W, Hubau W, Kearsley E, Buggenhout L, et al. Functional leaf trait diversity of 10 tree species in Congolese secondary tropical forest. JOURNAL OF TROPICAL FOREST SCIENCE. 2014;26(3):409–19.
MLA
Verbeeck, Hans, Efuetacha Betehndoh Nchufang, Wouter Maes, et al. “Functional Leaf Trait Diversity of 10 Tree Species in Congolese Secondary Tropical Forest.” JOURNAL OF TROPICAL FOREST SCIENCE 26.3 (2014): 409–419. Print.
@article{5660920,
  abstract     = {The Congo Basin has a large secondary forest area. Nevertheless, global plant trait databases lack substantial data from this biome and functional trait diversity is largely unknown. We analysed a unique leaf trait dataset (specific leaf area, nutrient and isotope concentrations) collected from 88 individual trees belonging to 10 different species in tropical lowland forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The trait data were found to be consistent with global datasets. delta N-15 was the only trait significantly influenced by plot location. For all other leaf traits, shade tolerance was a significant factor. The species factor was significant within each shade tolerance class. This shows that shade tolerance is an important but not exclusive factor determining functional diversity. Tree height had significant influence on delta C-13, specific leaf area and area-based nutrient concentrations. Higher individual trees had thicker sun-adapted leaves, regardless of the species. A principal component analysis (PCA) resulted in three significant ordination axes: leaf-thickness, N-content and P-content. By hierarchical clustering of the PCA scores, four functional groups were distinguished. This showed that species with diverse strategies coexisted in the ecosystem.},
  author       = {Verbeeck, Hans and Nchufang, Efuetacha Betehndoh and Maes, Wouter and Hubau, Wannes and Kearsley, Elizabeth and Buggenhout, Len and Hufkens, Koen and Huygens, Dries and Van Acker, Joris and Beeckman, Hans and Mweru, JPM and Boeckx, Pascal and Steppe, Kathy},
  issn         = {0128-1283},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF TROPICAL FOREST SCIENCE},
  keyword      = {PHOTOSYNTHESIS,PHOSPHORUS,NITROGEN,wood density,phosphorus,specific leaf area,CLIMATE,nitrogen,FOLIAR,Isotopes,BASIN},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {409--419},
  title        = {Functional leaf trait diversity of 10 tree species in Congolese secondary tropical forest},
  url          = {http://www.frim.gov.my/v1/JTFSOnline/jtfs/v26n3/409-419.pdf},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2014},
}

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