Master of Science (MS)
First Advisor's Name
Michael S. Ross
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Steven F. Oberbauer
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Fourth Advisor's Name
Skip J. Van Bloem
Fourth Advisor's Committee Title
Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Environmental Sciences
Date of Defense
This study examined how different rainfall regimes affect a set of leaf functional traits related to plant stress and forest structure in tropical dry forest (TDF) species on limestone substrate. One hundred fifty eight individuals of four tree species were sampled in six ecological sites in south Florida and Puerto Rico, ranging in mean annual rainfall from 858 to 1933 mm yr-1. Leaf nitrogen content, specific leaf area (SLA), and N:P ratio of evergreen species, but not deciduous species, responded positively to increasing rainfall. Phosphorus content was unaffected in both groups. Canopy height and basal area reached maxima of 10.3 m and 31.4 m2 ha-1, respectively, at 1168 mm annual rainfall. Leaf traits reflected soil properties only to a small extent. This led us to the conclusion that water is a major limiting factor in TDF and some species that comprise TDF ecosystems are limited by nitrogen in limestone sites with less than ~1012 mm rainfall, but organismal, biological and/or abiotic forces other than rainfall control forest structure in moister sites.
Salazar, Ramon L. II, "Leaf Functional Traits and Forest Structure of Tropical Dry Forest Species Along a Rainfall Gradient in Florida and Puerto Rico" (2015). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1754.
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).