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Publication Type J
Authors Vovides, A. G., J. Vogt, A. Kollert, U. Berger, U. Grueters, R. Peters, A. Laura Lara-Dominguez and J. Lopez-Portillo
Title Morphological plasticity in mangrove trees: salinity-related changes in the allometry of Avicennia germinans
Source Trees-Structure and Function
Abstract Morphological plasticity helps plants to cope to environmental conditions. Allometric responses of the mangrove Avicennia germinans to increasing salinity are easily detectable when focusing on the top height trees. Several studies show that mangrove trees possess high species- and site-related trait allometry, suggesting large morphological plasticity that might be related to environmental conditions, but the causes of such variation are not clearly understood and systematic quantification is still missing. Both aspects are essential for a mechanistic understanding of the development and functioning of forests. We analyzed the role of salinity in the allometric relations of the mangrove Avicennia germinans, using: (1) the top height trees (trees with the largest diameters at breast height, which reflect forest properties at the maximum use of resources); (2) the slenderness coefficient (which indicates competition and environmental conditions); and (3) the crown to DBH ratio. These standard tools for forest scientists dealing with terrestrial forests are suitable to analyze the plastic responses of mangroves to salinity. First, the top height trees help to recognize structural forest properties that are not detectable when studying the whole stand. Second, we found that at salinities above 55 aEuro degrees, trees are less slender and develop wider crowns in relation to DBH than when growing at lower salinities. Our results suggest a significant change in allometric traits in relation to salinity, and reflect the plastic responses of tree traits in response to environmental variation. Understanding the plastic responses of plants to their environment can help to better model, predict, and manage forests in changing environments.
ISSN 0931-1890
ISBN 0931-1890
Publication Date Oct
Year Published 2014
Volume 28
Issue 5
Beginning Page 1413-1425
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1007/s00468-014-1044-8
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000342420600014
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