Phenology and stem-growth periodicity of tree species in Amazonian floodplain forests
To study the impact of the annual long-term flooding (flood-pulse) on seasonal tree development in Amazonian floodplains, the phenology and growth in stem diameter of various tree species with different leaf-change patterns were observed over a period of 2 y. The trees of the functional ecotypes, evergreen, brevi-deciduous, deciduous and stem-succulent showed a periodic behaviour mainly triggered by the flood-pulse. Trees have high increment during the terrestrial phase. Flooding causes a shedding of some or all leaves leading to a cambial dormancy of about 2 mo and the formation of an annual ring. Studies carried out in tropical dry forests verify a strong relationship between the phenological development and the water status of the trees, strongly affected by seasonal drought. The comparison of the phenology and the diameter growth of the corresponding ecotypes in floodplain forest and a semi-deciduous forest in Venezuela shows a displacement of at least 2 mo in the periodicity, except for stem-succulent tree species. For stem-succulent trees it remains unclear which factors influence phenology and stem diameter growth.(Accepted August 24 2001)
Key Words: Amazon; annual rings; dendrometer; ecotypes; floodplain forest; phenology; semi-deciduous forest; várzea; Venezuela.
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