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Morphophysiological plasticity in Epiphytic Bromeliads across a precipitation gradient in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Manuel Jesús Cach Pérez
José Luis Andrade Torres
Casandra Reyes García
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Plasticity may be a key factor to determine plant survival under a changing environment as a result of climate change or land use modification. Plasticity in physiological and morphological traits was evaluated in seven epiphytic Tillandsia species (Bromeliaceae) from six vegetation communities along a precipitation gradient in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Microenvironmental conditions (air temperature and humidity, light, and vapor pressure deficit), as well as Δ titratable acidity, osmotic potential, relative water content, and succulence were characterized during wet, early dry, and dry seasons. We calculated the relative distances plasticity index using physiological data from the wet and dry seasons; morphological plasticity was also calculated for foliar trichome and stomatal traits from previously published data. We found high variation in microenvironmental conditions between seasons, particularly for the tropical dry deciduous forest. The dry season had a negative effect in all physiological variables (decrease from 40% to 59% for Δ titratable acidity and 10% to 38% for relative water content). The highest plasticity was registered for T. balbisiana (physiological: 0.29, anatomical: 0.18) and the lowest for T. fasciculata and T. yucatana. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis separated individuals distributed in the wettest vegetation types from those distributed in the driest vegetation types, irrespective of the species, showing convergent physiological strategies to confront environmental variation. We found higher plasticity in water use traits in atmospheric species, compared to tanks and higher plasticity in general in species with wide distribution compared to those with small distribution ranges.
Tropical Conservation Science, 11, 1940082918781926.
Cach-Pérez, M. J., Andrade, J. L., & Reyes-García, C. (2018). Morphophysiological Plasticity in Epiphytic Bromeliads Across a Precipitation Gradient in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Tropical Conservation Science, 11, 1940082918781926.
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