, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 25–36 | Cite as

A multi-proxy dendroecological analysis of two tropical species (Hymenaea spp., Leguminosae) growing in a vegetation mosaic

  • Giuliano Maselli Locosselli
  • Marcos Silveira Buckeridge
  • Marcelo Zacharias Moreira
  • Gregório Ceccantini
Original Paper


Tree species use a variety of strategies to obtain resources. As a result, semi-deciduous forest species and cerrado species can grow in close proximity and in the same climate, while occupying very different vegetation types. The aim of this study was to understand the dynamic responses of Hymenaea courbaril, a forest species, and Hymenaea stigonocarpa, a cerrado species, to annual climatic variation and increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations under the same macroclimatic conditions. To that goal, we constructed chronologies of tree-ring width, vessel area, and intrinsic water-use efficiency (calculated from tree-ring δ13C content) for Hymenaea trees growing in a mosaic of the two vegetation types. Our analyses revealed that both species responded to climatic variation in similar ways, but with different intensities and at different times of year. Climate models showed that precipitation had a stronger effect on tree-ring width and earlywood vessel area of H. courbaril and temperature was slightly more determinant for H. stigonocarpa. In addition, both species showed increasing intrinsic water-use efficiency over the last five decades, but only individuals with reduced growth rate presented this trend, suggesting that those specimens in favorable growth conditions do not respond to the atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Despite the trend in water-use efficiency found in some individuals, it did not reflect in a higher growth rate. The differences between the two species documented by us may be due to divergent sources of hydrological stress in the two vegetation types.


Cerrado Intrinsic water-use efficiency Semi-deciduous forest Stable carbon isotope Tree ring Vessel area 



We thank Claudia Soliz, Viviane Jono, Gustavo Burin, Guilherme Freire, and Paula Elbl for their contributions to this study. Guilherme Andrade and Ludmila Andrade gave us permission to carry out field work in their farm. We thank to Guilherme Freire, Vitor Barão, Ricardo Cardim, and Alan Curtis for help collecting material; Gisele Costa for helping in the lab; and Adriana Grandis, Amanda de Souza, and Bruna Arenque for helping with the cellulose extractions. Funding for this study was provided by the State of São Paulo’s Foundation to Support Research (FAPESP- 06/58698-0) and Brazil’s National Council for the Development of Science and Technology (CNPq- 478503/2009-1, 303677/2008-2).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuliano Maselli Locosselli
    • 1
  • Marcos Silveira Buckeridge
    • 1
  • Marcelo Zacharias Moreira
    • 2
  • Gregório Ceccantini
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Energia Nuclear na AgriculturaUniversidade de São PauloPiracicabaBrazil

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