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Ecología austral

versión On-line ISSN 1667-782X


MEDINA, Micaela; RITTER, Luis J; CAMPANELLO, Paula I  y  ARTURI, Marcelo F. Relationship between life history strategies and functional traits in tree species in the Atlantic Forest in Misiones, Argentina. Ecol. austral [online]. 2019, vol.29, n.3, pp.380-390. ISSN 1667-782X.

Functional characterization of plant responses to ecological factors is a basic goal in ecology. General trends were found indicating associations between functional traits and life history strategies such as acquisitive vs. conservative species. Different regeneration requirements among tropical trees were related to morphological and reproductive traits. Here, we studied if ecological groups of trees in the Atlantic Forest in Misiones are related to differences in height, wood density and seed mass. We also examined the relationships between those traits and leaf traits related to the acquisitive-conservative strategies. Plant height, wood density and seed mass were obtained from the literature for 62 common tree species in the studied area as well as their ecological classification. In addition, leaf area, specific leaf area and leaf thickness, were obtained from the literature for a subset of 39 tree species. Pioneer trees showed lower height and lighter wood than those classified as climax but these values widely overlapped among intermediate groups suggesting the existence of a functional gradient and that discrete classes are difficult to apply. Higher seed mass was observed among trees with medium wood density. No relationship between these traits and foliar traits was observed. Thus, the difference between species with acquisitive or conservative leaves constitutes a different functional axis from the one associated to wood density and height. Based on our results and previous findings we propose a conceptual model for the functional characterization of tree species in the Atlantic Forest in Misiones using wood density, as an indicator shade tolerance, and height, as an indicator of light acquisition strategy and related to dispersal syndrome of seeds.

Palabras clave : Functional classification; Wood density; Tree height; Seed mass; Subtropical trees.

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