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Traits and Resource Use of Co-Occurring Introduced and Native Trees in a Tropical Novel ForestAuthor(s): Jéssica Fonseca da Silva; Ernesto Medina; Ariel Lugo
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
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DescriptionNovel forests are naturally regenerating forests that have established on degraded lands and have a species composition strongly influenced by introduced species. We studied ecophysiological traits of an introduced species (Castilla elastica Sessé) and several native species growing side by side in novel forests dominated by C. elastica in Puerto Rico. We hypothesized that C. elastica has higher photosynthetic capacity and makes more efficient use of resources than co-occurring native species. Using light response curves, we found that the photosynthetic capacity of C. elastica is similar to that of native species, and that different parameters of the curves reflected mostly sun light variation across the forest strata. However, photosynthetic nitrogen use-efficiency as well as leaf area/mass ratios were higher for C. elastica, and both the amount of C and N per unit area were lower, highlighting the different ecological strategies of the introduced and native plants. Presumably, those traits support C. elastica’s dominance over native plants in the study area. We provide empirical data on the ecophysiology of co-occurring plants in a novel forest, and show evidence that different resource-investment strategies co-occur in this type of ecosystem
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CitationFonseca da Silva, Jéssica; Medina, Ernesto; Lugo, Ariel. 2017.Traits and Resource Use of Co-Occurring Introduced and Native Trees in a Tropical Novel Forest. Forests. 8(9): 339-. https://doi.org/10.3390/f8090339.
Keywordsintroduced species, leaf C and N densities, novel forests, photosynthetic nitrogen use-efficiency, leaf mass per area
- Dynamics of novel forests of Castilla elastica in Puerto Rico: from species to ecosystems
- Species composition, diversity and structure of novel forests of Castilla elastica in Puerto Rico
- Aboveground biomass, wood volume, nutrient stocks and leaf litter in novel forests compared to native forests and tree plantations in Puerto Rico
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