Flower production decreases with warmer and more humid atmospheric conditions in a western Amazonian forest

Jason Vleminckx, J. Aaron Hogan, Margaret R. Metz, Liza S. Comita, Simon A. Queenborough, S. Joseph Wright, Renato Valencia, Milton Zambrano, Nancy C. Garwood

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


Climate models predict that everwet western Amazonian forests will face warmer and wetter atmospheric conditions, and increased cloud cover. It remains unclear how these changes will impact plant reproductive performance, such as flowering, which plays a central role in sustaining food webs and forest regeneration. Warmer and wetter nights may cause reduced flower production, via increased dark respiration rates or alteration in the reliability of flowering cue-based processes. Additionally, more persistent cloud cover should reduce the amounts of solar irradiance, which could limit flower production. We tested whether interannual variation in flower production has changed in response to fluctuations in irradiance, rainfall, temperature, and relative humidity over 18 yrs in an everwet forest in Ecuador. Analyses of 184 plant species showed that flower production declined as nighttime temperature and relative humidity increased, suggesting that warmer nights and greater atmospheric water saturation negatively impacted reproduction. Species varied in their flowering responses to climatic variables but this variation was not explained by life form or phylogeny. Our results shed light on how plant communities will respond to climatic changes in this everwet region, in which the impacts of these changes have been poorly studied compared with more seasonal Neotropical areas.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)1035-1046
Número de páginas12
PublicaciónNew Phytologist
EstadoPublicada - feb. 2024

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