Trees

, 22:585 | Cite as

Root architecture and allocation patterns of eight native tropical species with different successional status used in open-grown mixed plantations in Panama

  • Lluis Coll
  • Catherine Potvin
  • Christian Messier
  • Sylvain Delagrange
Original Paper

Abstract

We investigated biomass allocation and root architecture of eight tropical species with different successional status, as classified from the literature, along a size gradient up to 5 m. We focused on belowground development, which has received less attention than aboveground traits. A discriminant analysis based upon a combination of allocational and architectural traits clearly distinguished functional types and classified species according to successional status at a 100% success rate. For a given plant diameter, the pioneer species presented similar root biomass compared to the non-pioneer ones but higher cumulative root length and a higher number of root apices. A detailed study on the root system of a sub-sample of three species showed that the most late-successional species (Tabebuia rosea) had longer root internodes and a higher proportion of root biomass allocated to the taproot compared to the other two species (Hura crepitans and Luehea seemannii). Most pioneer species showed a higher leaf area ratio due to a higher specific leaf area (SLA). We conclude that the functional differences between pioneer and non-pioneer tree species found in natural forests were maintained in open-grown plantation conditions.

Keywords

Allocation Allometry Root architecture Successional status Tropical plantation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lluis Coll
    • 1
    • 3
  • Catherine Potvin
    • 2
  • Christian Messier
    • 1
  • Sylvain Delagrange
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre d’Étude de la Forêt (CEF)Université du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya (CTFC)SolsonaSpain
  4. 4.Institut Québécois d’Aménagement de la Forêt FeuillueRiponCanada

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