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Effect of seasonal water availability on phenology and the annual shoot carbohydrate cycle of tropical forest shrubs



Effect of seasonal water availability on phenology and the annual shoot carbohydrate cycle of tropical forest shrubs



Functional Ecology 9(3): 518-527



1. The effect of seasonal water availability on phenology and shoot total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) of three Psychotria species was investigated by irrigating two large plots of mature tropical forest in Panama during the dry season for five consecutive years. This study reports results for the fifth and final year of irrigation. 2. Irrigation did not affect total production of leaves, inflorescences or infructescenes but did advance the timing of leaf production in all Psychotria, and advanced the timing of inflorescence production in P. furcata and P. marginata and infructescence production in P. furcata. Irrigation also reduced shoot TNC levels. 3. Shoot TNC levels in all three species of Psychotria showed similar depressions at the end of the dry season and maximum levels near the end of the wet season. Depletion of shoot TNC occurred just before or during peak leaf production but did not coincide with production of inflorescences or infructescences. Therefore, we hypothesize that shoot TNC supported part of the cost of new leaf production but production of inflorescences and infructescences was most likely supported by current photosynthate. 4. Tropical plants generally show less seasonal variation in TNC than plants from more variable climates but stored carbon still plays an important role in the growth of Psychotria, although its direct role in reproduction appears limited.

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Accession: 002604279

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.2307/2390018



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