The landscape of the upper Rio Negro basin (North Amazon) exhibits distinctive habitats that are associated with differential soil characteristics and topographical conditions as well as species composition (Herrera et al. 1978). The mixed forests thrive on well-structured oxisols on slightly more elevated areas. The valleys with sandy podzols are occupied by the ‘Amazon caatinga’ complex with three distinct zones: the bottom valley and the gentle slopes, both of which have closed forests, and the sandy domes with open forests (‘bana’ or sclerophyllous forest; Breimer 1985). From the mixed forest towards the caatinga valley-slope-dome habitats, the leaf δ15N signatures become increasingly negative, suggesting a trend in N limitation in the same direction (Sobrado 2010). Thus, negative leaf δ15N signatures depleted in 15N compared with the soil indicate a very tight N cycle in all of the habitats. Water availability follows a similar pattern from the top of the oxisol towards the flooded valley bottom of the caatinga, with extreme water-table fluctuations in the sandy domes (Klinge 1978). Thus, parallel variation in nutrient and water availabilities exist in this area that are associated with soil characteristics and topography. Under such contrasting habitats, species-specific responses would be linked to particular conditions of the habitat at a local scale (Comita & Engelbrecht 2009, Engelbrecht et al. 2007). A number of studies in these habitats have shown that this is the case for soil fertility (Coomes 1997, Medina et al. 1990, Sobrado 2010, Sobrado & Medina 1980). Similarly, the hydraulic characteristics and long-term water use are species specific and related to particular conditions of the habitat at the local scale (Sobrado 2010). In this report, it was hypothesized that the leaf tissue water relations of species thriving in different habitats may reflect the water availability at the particular sites as well. The leaf tissue water relations of species thriving in the extreme nutrient and water-supply conditions of the sandy domes from the caatinga complex have been previously studied in detail (Sobrado 2009a). However, these data are currently not available for the species that thrive in the surrounding area of the closed forests, and importantly, such information would allow for a comparison across habitats. Therefore, the present study assessed the minimum leaf water potential (midday) under field conditions as well as the leaf tissue water relations by using pressure-volume analysis of dominant tree species in the top canopy of these high-stature forests.