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Journal Article

Are there differences in specific wood gravities between trees in várzea and igapó (Central Amazonia)?


Parolin,  Pia
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Parolin, P., & Ferreira, L. V. (1998). Are there differences in specific wood gravities between trees in várzea and igapó (Central Amazonia)? Ecotropica, 4, 25-32.

Cite as:
Central Amazonian floodplain forests near Manaus can be divided into two ecosystems, according to the principal flooding water types. Whitewater floodplains (várzea) have soils with high, blackwaters (igapó) with low nutrient content. Differences in wood specific gravities and annual increments were investigated in 30 tree species in várzea and 35 species in igapó. In várzea, trees had lower wood specific gravities and higher annual wood increments than in igapó. Elevation and flood duration showed no significant influences on wood specific gravities in both ecosystems. Pioneer species of whitewater floodplains had significantly lower mean wood specific gravities and higher annual increments than non-pioneer species. Intraspecifically, two of four species occurring in both systems showed significantly higher wood specific gravity and lower annual increments in blackwater than in whitewater floodplains. The significant differences in wood specific gravity and annual increments in the whitewater and blackwater floodplain systems suggest that the type of flooding water and the related nutrient input may directly affect tree growth. Slow growth in blackwater floodplain forests can be considered as an adaptation to the low nutrient status of the system and an efficient utilization of the available nutrients.