Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Frontiers in plant science
Xylem hydraulic adjustment to global climatic changes was reported from temperate, boreal, and Mediterranean tree species. Yet, the long-term hydraulic adjustment in tropical tree species has not been studied so far. Here we developed the first standard chronologies of three hydraulic trait variables for three South Asian moist forest tree species to analyze their long-term hydraulic responses to changing climate. Based on wood anatomical measurements, we calculated Hagen-Poiseuille hydraulically weighted vessel diameter (D), potential specific hydraulic conductivity (K), and vulnerability index (V) and developed standard chronologies of these variables for , and which are different in their xylem structure, wood density, shade tolerance, growth rates, and habitat preferences. Bootstrap correlation analysis revealed that vapor pressure deficit (VPD) strongly positively influenced the xylem water transport capacity in , whereas was affected by both temperature and precipitation. The hydraulic conductivity of was mainly affected by temperature. Different adjustment strategies were observed among the species, probably due to the differences in life history strategies and xylem properties. No positive relationship of conductivity and radial growth was found, but a trade-off between hydraulic safety and efficiency was observed in all studied species.