Intraspecific allometries reveal hyper‐slender stems in forest gaps and the impact on tree growth from insect herbivores

Norghauer, Julian M. (2021). Intraspecific allometries reveal hyper‐slender stems in forest gaps and the impact on tree growth from insect herbivores (In Press). Ecological Research Springer 10.1111/1440-1703.12207

[img] Text
2021_EcolRes.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (11MB) | Request a copy
[img] Text
ere12207-sup-0001-supinfo.pdf - Supplemental Material
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy

Conspicuously absent from plant allometric models are insect herbivores, despite their ubiquity in pantropical forests as well as the importance of gauging their impact on plant growth for understanding tree regeneration dynamics. Conceivably, the scaling relationships of plant populations with and without exposure to insects could be compared to gain insight, but this has yet to be tried. Here, I examined the size allometry of three canopy‐statured species (Fabaceae) by fitting standard major axis regressions of stem height, number of leaves, and maximum area per leaf against stem diameter (root collar) of their juveniles (seedlings/saplings) in 41 canopy gaps after ca. 2 years of herbivore exclusion (using mesh cages with mesh‐rooftop controls), in a central African forest. Herbivores did not change the slope or intercept, nor shift the location of Tetraberlinia bifoliolata and T. korupensis populations, whose seedlings tolerate shade well. In stark contrast, all three size allometries were altered in the faster‐growing Microberlinia bisulcata, whose seedlings cannot tolerate shade indefinitely. More pronounced than either an altered slope (scaling exponent) or intercept was the strong rightward shift in location (to larger sizes) of protected M. bisulcata, whereas its normal (control) population was left stunted, with fewer and smaller leaves. Nevertheless, all species had higher than theoretically predicted scaling exponents, even in the absence of herbivores, suggesting a convergent response early in tree ontogeny across the shade‐tolerance spectrum prioritizing height gain over mechanical stability in forest gaps. But insect herbivores were able to significantly strengthen this deviation in M. bisulcata, and perhaps in T. korupensis. These results demonstrate an allometric approach may prove useful for revealing how insects differentially impact trees' growth and form (slenderness) when they are most vulnerable to herbivory.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Library Plant Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Norghauer, Julian Martin

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0912-3814

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

18 Feb 2021 16:01

Last Modified:

18 Feb 2021 16:01

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/1440-1703.12207

Uncontrolled Keywords:

allometry; herbivory; recruitment; saplings; seedlings

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/152259

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/152259

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback