Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: May 2011

48 - Physiological variation in Hawaiian Metrosideros polymorpha across a range of habitats: from dry forests to cloud forests

from Part V - Cloud forest water use, photosynthesis, and effects of forest conversion

Summary

ABSTRACT

Hydraulic characteristics of the common Hawaiian tree species, Metrosideros polymorpha, were compared in cloud forest, dry forest, bogs, and along an altitudinal gradient to understand how habitat plays a role in the evolution of plant hydraulic features. Plants of intermediate altitudes within the cloud forest zone suffered 50% reduction of hydraulic conductivity at higher water potentials than did low-and high-altitude plants, indicating that plants from cloud forest habitats are more susceptible to cavitation. Xylem area per unit leaf area increased with altitude, and was relatively high in dry forest and bogs, suggesting that more xylem is necessary to support leaf gas exchange in plants stressed by drought, waterlogging, or high altitude. Further, transpiration, leaf traits, and forest structure were examined at an extremely wet cloud forest site (>5000 mm of precipitation per year) to evaluate physiological limitations associated with waterlogging as a mechanism for reduced canopy leaf area. Leaf area index (LAI) and stand basal area were lower on level, waterlogged sites than on moderately sloped, well-drained sites. Stand transpiration varied from 79–89% of potential evapotranspiration (PET) for sloping sites and from 28–51% of PET for level sites. Leaf area index was a good predictor of stand transpiration. Whole-tree transpiration was lower at level sites with waterlogged soils, but was similar to that for trees on level sites when normalized by leaf area. […]

References
Austin, A. T., and Vitousek, P. M. (1998). Nutrient dynamics on a precipitation gradient in Hawai'i. Oecologia 113: 519–529.
Bach, K. (2004). Vegetationskundliche Untersuchungen zur Höhenzonierung tropischer Bergregenwälder in den Anden Boliviens. Ph.D. thesis, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.
Beiderwieden, E., Wolff, V., Hsia, Y. J., and Klemm, O. (2008). It goes both ways: measurements of simultaneous evapotranspiration and fog droplet deposition at a montane cloud forest. Hydrological Processes 22: 4181–4189.
Brodersen, C. R., Vogelmann, T. C., Williams, W. E., and Gorton, H. L. (2008). A new paradigm in leaf-level photosynthesis: direct and diffuse lights are not equal. Plant, Cell and Environment 31: 159–164.
Bruijnzeel, L. A. (2005). Tropical montane cloud forest: a unique hydrological case. In Forests, Water and People in the Humid Tropics, eds. Bonell, M. and Bruijnzeel, L. A., pp. 462–483. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Bruijnzeel, L. A., and Proctor, J. (1995). Hydrology and biogeochemistry of tropical montane cloud forests: what do we really know? In Tropical Montane Cloud Forests, eds. Hamilton, L. S., Juvik, J. O., and Scatena, F. N., pp. 38–78. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Cavelier, J. (1990). Tissue water relations in elfin cloud forest tree species of Serranía de Macuira, Guajira, Colombia. Trees: Structure and Function 4: 155–163.
Cavelier, J. (1996). Environmental factors and ecophysiological processes along altitudinal gradients in wet tropical mountains. In Tropical Forest Plant Ecophysiology, eds. Mulkey, S. S., Chazdon, R. L., and Smith, A. P., pp. 399–439. New York: Chapman and Hall.
Cavelier, J., and Goldstein, G. (1989). Leaf anatomy and water relations in tropical elfin cloud forest tree species. In Structural and Functional Responses to Environmental Stresses, eds. Krebb, K. H., Richter, H., and Hinckley, T. M., pp. 243–253. The Hague: SPB Academic Publishing.
Cavelier, J., and Mejia, C. A. (1990). Climatic factors and tree stature in the elfin cloud forest of Serranía de Macuira, Columbia. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 53: 105–123.
Cordell, S., Goldstein, G., Mueller-Dombois, D., Webb, D., and Vitousek, P. M. (1998). Physiological and morphological variation in Metrosideros polymorpha, a dominant Hawaiian tree species, along an altitudinal gradient: the role of phenotypic plasticity. Oecologia 113: 188–196.
Cordell, S. G., Goldstein, G., Melcher, P. J., and Meinzer, F. C. (2000). Photosynthetic and freezing avoidance in Metrosideros polymorpha at treeline in Hawaii. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 32: 381–387.
Dawson, J. W., and Stemmerman, L. (1990). Metrosideros (Myrtaceae). In Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i, eds. Wagner, W. L., Herbst, D. R., and Sohmer, S. H., pp. 964–970. Honolulu, HI: Bernice P. Bishop Museum.
Flenley, J. R. (1995). Cloud forest, the Massenerhebung effect, and ultraviolet insolation. In Tropical Montane Cloud Forests, eds. Hamilton, L. S., Juvik, J. O., and Scatena, F. N., pp. 150–155. New York: Springer-Verlag.
García-Santos, G. (2007). An ecohydrological and soils study in a montane cloud forest in the National Park of Garajonay, La Gomera (Canary Islands, Spain). Ph.D. thesis, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Also available at www.falw.vu.nl/nl/onderzoek/earth-sciences/geo-environmental-science-and-hydrology/hydrology-dissertations/index.asp.
Gentry, A. H. (1988). Changes in plant community diversity and floristic composition on environmental and geographical gradients. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 75: 1–34.
Gerrish, G. C., and Mueller-Dombois, D. (1999). Measuring stem growth rates for determining age and cohort analysis of a tropical evergreen tree. Pacific Science 53: 418–429.
Giambelluca, T. W., Martin, R. E., Asner, G. P., et al. (2009). Evapotranspiration and energy balance of native wet montane cloud forest in Hawai'i. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149: 230–243.
Goldstein, G., Rada, F., and Azocar, A. (1985). Cold hardiness and supercooling along an altitudinal gradient in Andean giant rosette species. Oecologia 68: 147–152.
Gomez-Cardenas, M. (2009). Transpiration by contrasting vegetation cover types in the montane cloud forest belt of eastern Mexico. Ph.D. thesis, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.
Graham, E. A., Mulkey, S. S., Kitajima, K., Phillips, N. G., and Wright, S. J. (2003). Cloud cover limits net CO2 uptake and growth of a rainforest tree during tropical rainy seasons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100: 572–576.
Grubb, P. J. (1977). Control of forest growth and distribution on wet tropical mountains: with special reference to mineral nutrition. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 8: 83–107.
Grubb, P. J., Lloyd, J. R., Pennington, T. D., and Whitmore, T. C. (1963). A comparison of montane and lowland rainforest in Ecuador. I. The forest structure, physiognomy, and floristics. Journal of Ecology 51: 567–601.
Hafkenscheid, R. L., (2000). Hydrology and biogeochemistry of tropical montane rain forests of contrasting stature in the Blue Mountains, Jamaica. Ph.D. thesis, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Also available at http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/bitstream/1871/12734/1/tekst.pdf.
Herbert, D. A., and Fownes, J. H. (1995). Phosphorus limitation of forest leaf area and net primary production on a highly weathered soil. Biogeochemistry 29: 223–235.
Holbrook, N. M., and Putz, F. E. (1996). Water relations of epiphytic and terrestrially rooted strangler figs in a Venezuelan palm savanna. Oecologia 106: 424–431.
Holwerda, F. (2005). Water and energy budgets of rain forests along an elevational gradient under maritime tropical conditions. Ph.D. thesis, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Also available at www.falw.vu.nl/images_upload/B321FA03-1279-D040-8B2SE94A8EBDB962.pdf.
Jane, G. T., and Green, T. G. A. (1985). Patterns of stomatal conductance in six evergreen tree species from a New Zealand cloud forest. Botanical Gazette 146: 413–420.
Jarvis, P. G. (1993). Prospects for bottom-up models. In Scaling Physiological Process, eds. Ehleringer, J. R. and Field, C. B., pp. 117–126. New York: Academic Press.
Jones, T. J., (2001). Hydraulic architecture, vulnerability to cavitation, and embolism repair in a eucalypt and coffee species. M.Sc. thesis, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA.
Kolb, K. J., and Davis, S. D. (1994). Drought tolerance and xylem embolism in co-occurring species of coastal sage and chaparral. Ecology 75: 648–659.
Körner, C., Allison, A., and Hilscher, H. (1983). Altitudinal variation of leaf diffuse conductance and leaf anatomy in heliophytes of montane New Guinea and their interrelation with microclimate. Flora 174: 91–135.
Küppers, M., Motzer, T., Schmitt, D., et al. (2008). Stand structure, transpiration responses in trees and vines, and stand transpiration of different forest types within the mountain rainforest. In Gradients in a Tropical Mountain Ecosystem of Ecuador, eds. Beck, E., Bendix, J., Kottke, I., Makeschin, F., and Mosandl, R., pp. 243–258. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Leuschner, Ch., Moser, G., Bertsch, C., Röderstein, M., and Hertel, D. (2007). Large altitudinal increase in tree root/shoot ratio in tropical mountain forests of Ecuador. Basic and Applied Ecology 8: 219–230.
McJannet, D., Fitch, P., Disher, M., and Wallace, J. (2007). Measurements of transpiration in four tropical rainforest types of north Queensland, Australia. Hydrological Processes 21: 3549–3564.
Meinzer, F. C., Goldstein, G., and Jaimes, M. (1984). The effect of atmospheric humidity on stomatal control of gas exchange in two tropical coniferous species. Canadian Journal of Botany 62: 591–595.
Meinzer, F. C., Andrade, J. L., Goldstein, G., et al. (1997). Control of transpiration from the upper canopy of a tropical forest: the role of stomatal, boundary layer and hydraulic architecture components. Plant, Cell and Environment 20: 1242–1253.
Moser, G., Hertel, D., and Leuschner, Ch. (2007). Altitudinal change in LAI and stand leaf biomass in tropical montane forests: a transect study in Ecuador and a pan-tropical meta-analysis. Ecosystems 10: 924–935.
Moser, G., Röderstein, M., Soethe, N., Hertel, D., and Leuschner, Ch. (2008). Altitudinal changes in stand structure and biomass allocation of tropical mountain forest in relation to microclimate and soil chemistry. In Gradients in a Tropical Mountain Ecosystem of Ecuador, eds. Beck, E., Bendix, J., Kottke, I., Makeschin, F., and Mosandl, R., pp. 229–242. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Motzer, T., Munz, N., Küppers, M., Schmitt, D., and Anhuf, D. (2005). Stomatal conductance, transpiration and sap flow of tropical montane rain forest trees in the southern Ecuadorian Andes. Tree Physiology 25: 1283–1293.
Oren, R., Sperry, J. S., Katul, G., et al. (1999). Survey and synthesis of intra- and interspecific variation in stomatal sensitivity to vapor pressure deficit. Plant, Cell and Environment 22: 1515–1526.
Pammenter, N. W., and Wiligen, C. V. (1998). A mathematical and statistical analysis of the curves illustrating vulnerability of xylem to cavitation. Tree Physiology 18: 589–593.
Penman, H. L. (1948). Natural evaporation from open water, bare soil and grass. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A 193: 120–146.
Roberts, J. M., Gash, J. H. C., Tani, M., and Bruijnzeel, L. A. (2005). Controls on evaporation in lowland tropical rainforest. In Forests, Water and People in the Humid Tropics, eds. Bonell, M. and Bruijnzeel, L. A., pp. 287–313. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Running, S. W., and Coughlan, J. C. (1988). A general model for forest ecosystem processes for regional application. I. Hydrologic balance, canopy gas exchange, and primary production processes. Ecological Modeling 42: 125–154.
Santiago, L. S. (1998a). A bottom-up approach to scaling canopy transpiration in a Hawaiian montane cloud forest. Selbyana 19: 297.
Santiago, L. S. (1998b). Transpiration, forest structure and regeneration in relation to waterlogged soils in the cloud forest of Waikamoi, Maui. M.Sc. thesis, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA.
Santiago, L. S. (2000). Use of coarse woody debris by the plant community of a Hawaiian montane cloud forest. Biotropica 32: 633–641.
Santiago, L. S., Goldstein, G., Meinzer, F. C., Fownes, J., and Mueller-Dombois, D. (2000). Transpiration and forest structure in relation to soil waterlogging in a Hawaiian montane cloud forest. Tree Physiology 20: 673–681.
Santiago, L. S., Goldstein, G., Meinzer, F. C., et al. (2004a). Leaf photosynthetic traits scale with hydraulic conductivity and wood density in Panamanian forest canopy trees. Oecologia 140: 543–550.
Santiago, L. S., Kitajima, K., Wright, S. J., and Mulkey, S. S. (2004b). Coordinated changes in photosynthesis, water relations and leaf nutritional traits of canopy trees along a precipitation gradient in lowland tropical forest. Oecologia 139: 495–502.
Schuur, E. A. G. (2003). Productivity and global climate revisited: the sensitivity of tropical forest growth to precipitation. Ecology 84: 1165–1170.
Schuur, E. A. G., and Matson, P. A. (2001). Net primary productivity and nutrient cycling across a mesic to wet precipitation gradient in Hawaiian montane forest. Oecologia 128: 431–442.
Soethe, N., Wilcke, W., Homeier, J., Lehmann, J., and Engels, C. (2008). Plant growth along the altitudinal gradient: role of plant nutritional status, fine root activity, and soil properties. In Gradients in a Tropical Mountain Ecosystem of Ecuador, eds. Beck, E., Bendix, J., Kottke, I., Makeschin, F., and Mosandl, R., pp. 259–266. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Sperry, J. S., Donnelly, J. R., and Tyree, M. T. (1988). A method for measuring hydraulic conductivity and embolism in xylem. Plant, Cell and Environment 11: 35–40.
Tanner, E. V. J. (1977). Four montane rain forests of Jamaica: a quantitative characterization of the floristics, the soils and the foliar mineral levels, and a discussion of the interrelations. Journal of Ecology 65: 883–918.
Tanner, E. V. J., and Kapos, V. (1982). Leaf structure of Jamaican upper montane rainforest trees. Biotropica 14: 16–24.
Tanner, E. V. J., Kapos, V., Frescos, S., Healey, J. R., and Theobald, A. M. (1990). Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization effects on Venezuelan montane forest trunk growth and litterfall. Ecology 73: 78–86.
Tanner, E., Vitousek, P., and Cuevas, E. (1998). Experimental investigation of nutrient limitation of forest growth on wet tropical mountains. Ecology 79: 10–22.
Vázquez, J. A., and Givnish, T. (1998). Altitudinal gradients in tropical forest composition, structure, and diversity in the Sierra de Manantlán. Journal of Ecology 86: 999–1020.
Vitousek, P. M., and Sanford, R. L. (1986). Nutrient cycling in moist tropical forest. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 17: 137–167.
Vitousek, P. M., Aplet, G. H., Turner, D. R., and Lockwood, J. J. (1992). The Mauna Loa environmental matrix: foliar and soil nutrients. Oecologia 89: 372–382.
Vitousek, P. M., Walker, L. R., Whiteaker, L. D., and Matson, P. A. (1993). Nutrient limitations to plant growth during primary succession in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Biogeochemistry 23: 197–215.
Weaver, P. L. (1975). Transpiration rates in the elfin forest of the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science 15: 21–30.
Wright, S. J. (1992). Seasonal drought, soil fertility and the species density of tropical forest plant communities. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 7: 260–263.