Data_Sheet_1_Successional and Intraspecific Variations in Leaf Traits, Spectral Reflectance Indices and Herbivory in a Brazilian Tropical Dry Forest.docx (254.38 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Successional and Intraspecific Variations in Leaf Traits, Spectral Reflectance Indices and Herbivory in a Brazilian Tropical Dry Forest.docx

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posted on 27.12.2021, 14:52 authored by Alline Mendes Alves, Mário Marcos do Espírito-Santo, Jhonathan O. Silva, Gabriela Faccion, Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Kleiperry Freitas Ferreira

Leaf traits are good indicators of ecosystem functioning and can affect herbivory and leaf reflectance patterns, allowing a better understanding of changes in environmental conditions, such those observed during forest natural regeneration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the intraspecific variation in leaf traits and their influence on the pattern of herbivory and leaf reflectance in three species distributed along a successional gradient (early, intermediate and late stages) in a tropical dry forest (TDF) in northern Minas Gerais, Brazil. We sampled individuals of the following abundant tree species that occurred in multiple successional stages: Cenostigma pluviosum, Handroanthus ochraceus, and Tabebuia reticulata. We collected 10 leaves from each tree to determine the contents of chlorophyll a, b, and total, carotenoids and water, as well as the percentage of leaf area removed by herbivores and leaf specific mass (LSM). We also measured five spectral reflectance indices (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index-NDVI, Simple Ratio-SR, modified Normalized Difference-nND, modified SR-mSR and Water Index-WI) using a portable spectrometer. Our results showed intraspecific differences in most leaf traits along the successional gradient, suggesting that local adaptation may play an important role in plant community assembly. However, herbivory only differed for H. ochraceus in early and intermediate stages, but it was not affected by the leaf traits considered here. Spectral reflectance indices also differed among successional stage for all species together and for each species separately, except for T. reticulata in intermediate and late stages. Thus, leaf spectral signatures may be an important tool to the remote detection of different successional stages in TDFs, with implications for forest management.

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