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Species-specific growth responses to climate variations in understory trees of a Central African rain forest

Camille Couralet UGent, Frank J Sterck, Ute Sass-Klaassen, Joris Van Acker UGent and Hans Beeckman (2010) BIOTROPICA. 42(4). p.503-511
abstract
Basic knowledge of the relationships between tree growth and environmental variables is crucial for understanding forest dynamics and predicting vegetation responses to climate variations. Trees growing in tropical areas with a clear seasonality in rainfall often form annual growth rings. In the understory, however, tree growth is supposed to be mainly affected by interference for access to light and other resources. In the semi-deciduous Mayombe forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the evergreen species Aidia ochroleuca, Corynanthe paniculata and Xylopia wilwerthii dominate the understory. We studied their wood to determine whether they form annual growth rings in response to changing climate conditions. Distinct growth rings were proved to be annual and triggered by a common external factor for the three species. Species-specific site chronologies were thus constructed from the cross-dated individual growth-ring series. Correlation analysis with climatic variables revealed that annual radial stem growth is positively related to precipitation during the rainy season but at different months. The growth was found to associate with precipitation during the early rainy season for Aidia but at the end of the rainy season for Corynanthe and Xylopia. Our results suggest that a dendrochronological approach allows the understanding of climate–growth relationships in tropical forests, not only for canopy trees but also for evergreen understory species and thus arguably for the whole tree community. Global climate change influences climatic seasonality in tropical forest areas, which is likely to result in differential responses across species with a possible effect on forest composition over time.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
TROPICAL FORESTS, WATER RELATIONS, DROUGHT SENSITIVITY, DENDROECOLOGICAL ANALYSIS, NORTHERN THAILAND, SEMI-DECIDUOUS FOREST, PINUS-MERKUSII, RING FORMATION, RADIAL GROWTH, PHENOLOGY, Aidia ochroleuca, climate-growth relationships, Corynanthe paniculata, Democratic Republic of Congo, tropical dendrochronology, Xylopia wilwerthii
journal title
BIOTROPICA
Biotropica
volume
42
issue
4
pages
503 - 511
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000279438900015
JCR category
ECOLOGY
JCR impact factor
2.169 (2010)
JCR rank
54/129 (2010)
JCR quartile
2 (2010)
ISSN
0006-3606
DOI
10.1111/j.1744-7429.2009.00613.x
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
852553
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-852553
date created
2010-02-05 10:17:27
date last changed
2011-07-12 10:53:43
@article{852553,
  abstract     = {Basic knowledge of the relationships between tree growth and environmental variables is crucial for understanding forest dynamics and predicting vegetation responses to climate variations. Trees growing in tropical areas with a clear seasonality in rainfall often form annual growth rings. In the understory, however, tree growth is supposed to be mainly affected by interference for access to light and other resources. In the semi-deciduous Mayombe forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the evergreen species Aidia ochroleuca, Corynanthe paniculata and Xylopia wilwerthii dominate the understory. We studied their wood to determine whether they form annual growth rings in response to changing climate conditions. Distinct growth rings were proved to be annual and triggered by a common external factor for the three species. Species-specific site chronologies were thus constructed from the cross-dated individual growth-ring series. Correlation analysis with climatic variables revealed that annual radial stem growth is positively related to precipitation during the rainy season but at different months. The growth was found to associate with precipitation during the early rainy season for Aidia but at the end of the rainy season for Corynanthe and Xylopia. Our results suggest that a dendrochronological approach allows the understanding of climate--growth relationships in tropical forests, not only for canopy trees but also for evergreen understory species and thus arguably for the whole tree community. Global climate change influences climatic seasonality in tropical forest areas, which is likely to result in differential responses across species with a possible effect on forest composition over time.},
  author       = {Couralet, Camille and Sterck, Frank J and Sass-Klaassen, Ute and Van Acker, Joris and Beeckman, Hans},
  issn         = {0006-3606},
  journal      = {BIOTROPICA},
  keyword      = {TROPICAL FORESTS,WATER RELATIONS,DROUGHT SENSITIVITY,DENDROECOLOGICAL ANALYSIS,NORTHERN THAILAND,SEMI-DECIDUOUS FOREST,PINUS-MERKUSII,RING FORMATION,RADIAL GROWTH,PHENOLOGY,Aidia ochroleuca,climate-growth relationships,Corynanthe paniculata,Democratic Republic of Congo,tropical dendrochronology,Xylopia wilwerthii},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {503--511},
  title        = {Species-specific growth responses to climate variations in understory trees of a Central African rain forest},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7429.2009.00613.x},
  volume       = {42},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Couralet, Camille, Frank J Sterck, Ute Sass-Klaassen, Joris Van Acker, and Hans Beeckman. 2010. “Species-specific Growth Responses to Climate Variations in Understory Trees of a Central African Rain Forest.” Biotropica 42 (4): 503–511.
APA
Couralet, C., Sterck, F. J., Sass-Klaassen, U., Van Acker, J., & Beeckman, H. (2010). Species-specific growth responses to climate variations in understory trees of a Central African rain forest. BIOTROPICA, 42(4), 503–511.
Vancouver
1.
Couralet C, Sterck FJ, Sass-Klaassen U, Van Acker J, Beeckman H. Species-specific growth responses to climate variations in understory trees of a Central African rain forest. BIOTROPICA. 2010;42(4):503–11.
MLA
Couralet, Camille, Frank J Sterck, Ute Sass-Klaassen, et al. “Species-specific Growth Responses to Climate Variations in Understory Trees of a Central African Rain Forest.” BIOTROPICA 42.4 (2010): 503–511. Print.