HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Drought limits tropical plant distributions, scientists at the Smithsonian report

Drought tolerance is a critical determinant of tropical plant distributions, researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama report in the journal Nature, May 3. In a novel coupling of experimental measurements and observed plant distributions across a tropical landscape, drought tolerance predicted plant distributions at both local and regional scales. This mechanism to explain a common observation will contribute significantly to models of land use and climate change.

Tropical forest, often called rainforest, conjures up images of verdant, evergreen landscapes. Whereas temperatures may be relatively constant in the tropics, rainfall and water availability often vary dramatically across small distances.

"The Isthmus of Panama is the ideal place to test the idea that the distribution of plant species is influenced by their ability to tolerate a lack of water," said researcher and article author Bettina Engelbrecht of the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany and STRI.

After measuring the drought tolerance of 48 plant species experimentally, scientists looked at the plants regional distributions across 122 tropical forest plots set up by the Center for Tropical Forest Science. The plots are distributed over a rainfall gradient from the wet Caribbean slope to the drier Pacific slope.

"It was a surprise that even in humid tropical forests, traditionally viewed as water saturated, plants growing at dry sites were more drought-tolerant than plants growing at wet sites," Engelbrecht said.

The team also evaluated the local distributions of both seedlings and older trees on STRIs 50-hectare Forest Dynamics plot on Barro Colorado Island, roughly in the middle of the rainfall gradient. Drought tolerance was a stronger predictor of species distributions for saplings and adult trees than for seedlings, implying that plant community composition adjusts in accordance to environmental constraints.

Researchers ru
'"/>

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
703-787-3770 ext 8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
2-May-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Drought sensitivity shapes species distribution patterns in tropical forests
2. Drought reduces nitrogen-fixing in legumes
3. Drought in the West linked to warmer temperatures
4. X-ray images help explain limits to insect body size
5. Scientists narrow the time limits for the human and chimpanzee split
6. Sex versus survival: A tradeoff at geographical range limits
7. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
8. Satellite survey links tropical park fires with poverty and corruption
9. Northern forests less effective than tropical forests in reducing global warming
10. Research finds evidence tropical cyclones have climate-control role
11. Brazil demonstrating that reducing tropical deforestation is key win-win global warming solution

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/6/2019)... ... 2019 , ... VetStem Biopharma has long been ... experience. In November it spun out a human regenerative medicine subsidiary, ... of the first cGMP cell manufacturing facilities in California , VetStem signed ...
(Date:8/6/2019)... ... August 05, 2019 , ... ... announce its attendance at the Microscopy & Microanalysis 2019 Meeting ( M&M 2019 ... Oregon Convention Center. , The Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting, organized by the Microscopy ...
(Date:8/4/2019)... ... August 02, 2019 , ... Stay on top of current hot topics ... industries. Access to all webinars is free, so be sure to register today to ... Visit http://www.xtalks.com to see our upcoming webinars: , CLINICAL OPERATIONS , August ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/23/2019)... ... August 22, 2019 , ... An upcoming ... is scheduled to broadcast 4Q/2019. Check your local listings for more information. , ... generic drug delivery. Focusing on therapeutics for children and the elderly, viewers will ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... COLLEGE, Pa. (PRWEB) , ... August 13, 2019 ... ... in nuclear receptor and in vitro toxicology testing solutions, announced the appointment of ... healthcare industry experience to the Board. , Mark McLoughlin will lend his healthcare ...
(Date:8/8/2019)... ... August 08, 2019 , ... ... for sales and service organizations, today announced that the company’s Studio Intelligent ... for the IVA market . Inference will officially accept the award at Frost ...
(Date:8/6/2019)... DIEGO (PRWEB) , ... August 06, 2019 , ... ... Marketing Radio (LSMR) have joined forces in launching the biweekly SDBN BUZZ podcast ... further growth. SDBN BUZZ podcast will also serve to promote the region and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: