iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Trade-offs and spatial variation of functional traits of tree species in a subtropical forest in southern Brazil

Francieli de Fátima Missio (1), Pedro Higuchi (1)   , Ana Carolina da Silva (1), Solon Jonas Longhi (2), Bruna Salami (1), Angélica Dalla Rosa (1), Fernando Buzzi-Junior (1), Tiago de Souza Ferreira (1), Amanda Koche Marcon (1), Marco Antonio Bento (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 6, Pages 855-859 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1960-009
Published: Jul 07, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Plant functional traits have been recognized as important factors related to the ecological strategies of species in forest ecosystems. We examined the relationships between functional traits and both tree species performance and environmental conditions in a subtropical forest in Brazil. Over four years (2008-2012), we investigated how demographic rates were related to functional traits (wood density, leaf area and tree height) of 20 species sampled within 50 plots of 10 × 20 m, which had previously evaluated as to environmental conditions. Non-metric multidimensional scaling was used to order the species by their functional traits. The demographic rates were fit a posteriori to the ordination, with significant rates (p < 0.05) plotted as vectors. The relationships between environmental conditions and the community-weighted means (CWMs) of trait values were verified using redundancy analysis. CWM wood density was positively correlated with soil pH. CWM leaf area and CWM maximum tree height were both negatively correlated with altitude and positively correlated with soil magnesium (Mg) content. The taller species with lower wood density, which occupied the forest canopy, had a greater diameter increment and lower recruitment than did the shortest species with higher wood density. The shorter species with higher wood density, which occupied the understory, had greater recruitment and a greater increase in abundance than did the taller/lower-wood-density species. Our study (i) revealed changes in the forest related to the light environment, with an increase in the relative participation of shade-tolerant species with higher wood densities, and (ii) detected small-scale spatial variation in community traits as a response to variations in soil chemical properties and topography.


Araucaria Forest, Atlantic Forest, Environmental Heterogeneity, Multivariate Analysis

Authors’ address

Francieli de Fátima Missio
Pedro Higuchi
Ana Carolina da Silva
Bruna Salami
Angélica Dalla Rosa
Fernando Buzzi-Junior
Tiago de Souza Ferreira
Amanda Koche Marcon
Marco Antonio Bento
Forestry Department, Agroveterinary Center, Santa Catarina State University, Av Luiz de Camões, 2090, Conta Dinheiro, 88.520-000, Lages, SC (Brazil)
Solon Jonas Longhi
Forestry Department, Santa Maria Federal University, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS (Brazil)

Corresponding author

Pedro Higuchi


Missio FF, Higuchi P, Silva AC, Longhi SJ, Salami B, Dalla Rosa A, Buzzi-Junior F, Ferreira TS, Koche Marcon A, Bento MA (2016). Trade-offs and spatial variation of functional traits of tree species in a subtropical forest in southern Brazil. iForest 9: 855-859. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1960-009

Academic Editor

Andrea Cutini

Paper history

Received: Dec 19, 2015
Accepted: Apr 19, 2016

First online: Jul 07, 2016
Publication Date: Dec 14, 2016
Publication Time: 2.63 months

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