High tolerance of tropical sapling growth and gas exchange to moderate warming

Martijn Slot and Klaus Winter Tropical forests are tremendously important reservoirs of biodiversity, and tropical forests contain more live biomass than any other biome in the world. However, the effects of global warming on tropical forests and growth of tropical trees are uncertain. While observations on canopy trees suggest that warming will reduce growth, some…

The treetop is the hotspot determining growth in larch trees

Angela Luisa Prendin, Giai Petit, Patrick Fonti, Christian Rixen, MelissaAutumn Dawes , Georg von Arx  Trees are long-lived organisms and continuously increase in size during life. As tree size increases, continuous structural adjustments help trees to meet changing functional needs. Wood tissue plays a critical role in these changes by providing adequate support for trees…

Root morphology and nutrient are driven by different selective pressures

Ruili Wang, Qiufeng Wang, Ning Zhao, Zhiwei Xu, Xianjin Zhu, Cuicui Jiao, Guirui Yu and Nianpeng He Fine roots are the smallest terminal parts of the root system and act as the primary belowground organs in acquiring limiting nutrients and water from the soil. However, inconsistency in definitions of fine roots and different protocols among…

Changing Kelp Distributions in a Warmer World

Nathan G. King, David C. Wilcockson, Richard Webster, Dan A. Smale, Laura S. Hoelters, Pippa J. Moore Where species can exist is largely determined by the temperature range they can tolerate. This is known as their thermal niche and climate change is changing where these niches are found in nature. At equatorward edges of  species…

Wood structure rises to the challenge of building large trees

Kanin Rungwattana and Peter Hietz It takes a lot of wood to make a tree and wood thus constitutes the largest share of Earth’s biomass. At first sight, wood is needed to provide the mechanical structure that exposes leaves to sunlight. But leaves have to be supplied with water from the soil, which is also…

Development influences the expression of growth and defensive traits in plants

Xóchitl Damián, Juan Fornoni, César A. Domínguez and Karina Boege Plants have to deal with simultaneous physiological and environmental challenges, from growing and defending their tissues from consumers, to reproducing and dispersing. Hence, plants need to optimize the use of resources for these different functions. In the case of leaves, for example, plants express different…

Anatomy of pine needles reflects climatic adaptation

Artur Jankowski , Tomasz P. Wyka, Roma Żytkowiak, Bengt Nihlgård, Peter B. Reich, Jacek Oleksyn Short growing season, low temperature and nutrient shortages have caused many plants in subarctic regions to adapt a slow, conservative life style. For example, few subarctic woody plants can afford to replace their leaves annually as is common in the…