Anatomical Traits (anatomical + trait)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Interspecific relationships among growth, mortality and xylem traits of woody species from New Zealand

Sabrina E. Russo
Summary 1.,Wood density is considered a key functional trait influencing the growth and survival of woody plants and has been shown to be related to a slow,fast rate-of-living continuum. Wood density is, however, an emergent trait arising from several vascular properties of wood, including the diameter and frequency of xylem conduits. 2.,We aimed to test the hypotheses that there is a set of inter-related trade-offs linked to the different functions of wood, that these trade-offs have direct consequences for tree growth and survival and that these trade-offs underlie the observed correlations between wood density and demographic rates. We evaluated the covariation between xylem anatomical traits among woody species of New Zealand and whether that covariation had the potential to constrain variation in wood density and demographic rates. 3.,Several xylem traits were strongly correlated with each other, but wood density was not correlated with any of them. We also found no significant relationships between wood density and growth or mortality rate. Instead, growth was strongly related to xylem traits associated with hydraulic capacity (conduit diameter and a conductivity index) and to maximum height, whereas mortality rate was strongly correlated only with maximum height. The diameter and frequency of conduits exhibited a significant negative relationship, suggesting a trade-off, which restricted variation in wood density and growth rate, but not mortality rate. 4.,Our results suggest, for woody species in New Zealand, that growth rate is more closely linked to xylem traits determining hydraulic conductance, rather than wood density. We also found no evidence that denser woods conferred higher survival, or that risk of cavitation caused by wide conduits increased mortality. 5.,In summary, we found little support for the idea that wood density is a good proxy for position along a fast,slow rate-of-living continuum. Instead, the strong, negative relationship between vessel diameter and frequency may constrain the realized diversity of demographic niches of tree species in New Zealand. Trade-offs in function therefore have the potential to shape functional diversity and ecology of forest communities by linking selection on structure and function to population-level dynamics. [source]

Xylem density, biomechanics and anatomical traits correlate with water stress in 17 evergreen shrub species of the Mediterranean-type climate region of South Africa

Summary 1Climate change in South Africa may threaten the sclerophyllous evergreen shrubs of this region. Available data suggest that they are not as tolerant of water stress as chaparral shrubs occurring in climatically similar California, USA. 2Seventeen species from nine angiosperm families, including both fynbos and succulent karoo species, were studied at a field site in Western Cape Province, South Africa. Minimum seasonal pressure potential (Pmin), xylem specific conductivity (Ks), stem strength against breakage (modulus of rupture, MOR), xylem density, theoretical vessel implosion resistance () and several fibre and vessel anatomical traits were measured. 3Species displayed great variability in Pmin, similar to the range reported for chaparral and karoo shrub species, but in contrast to previous reports for fynbos shrubs. 4More negative Pmin was associated with having greater xylem density, MOR and . There was no relationship between Pmin and traits associated with increased water transport efficiency. 5Xylem density integrates many xylem traits related to water stress tolerance, including Pmin, MOR and , as well as percentage fibre wall, parenchyma, vessel area and fibre lumen diameter. 6Xylem density may be an integral trait for predicting the impact of climate change on evergreen shrubs. [source]

Foraging and ranging behavior during a fallback episode: Hylobates albibarbis and Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii compared

Erin R. Vogel
Abstract Periodic episodes of food scarcity may highlight the adaptive value of certain anatomical traits, particularly those that facilitate the acquisition and digestion of exigent fallback foods. To better understand the selective pressures that favored the distinctive dental and locomotor morphologies of gibbons and orangutans, we examined the foraging and ranging behavior of sympatric Hylobates albibarbis and Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii during an episode of low fruit availability at Tuanan, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia. We found that Hylobates ranged 0.5 km day,1 or 33% farther than did Pongo, but the overall daily ranging of both species did not vary as fruit availability decreased by as much as 50%. Among gibbons, we observed dietary switching to fallback foods; in particular, there was a progressively greater reliance on figs, liana products, and unripe fruit. Orangutans relied heavily on unripe fruit and fracture-resistant bark and pith tissues. Despite these divergent fallback patterns, the stiffness of fruit mesocarp consumed by Hylobates and Pongo did not differ. We discuss canine and molar functional morphology with respect to dietary mechanics. Next, to contextualize these results, we discuss our findings with respect to forest structure. The rain forests of Southeast Asia have been described as having open, discontinuous canopies. Such a structure may inform our understanding of the ranging behavior and distinctive locomotion of apes in the region, namely richochetal brachiation and quadrumanous clambering. Our approach of integrating behavioral ecology with physical measures of food may be a powerful tool for understanding the functional adaptations of primates. Am J Phys Anthropol 140:716,726, 2009. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]