Variation in leaf wettability traits along a tropical montane elevation gradient

Gregory R. Goldsmith, Lisa Patrick Bentley, Alexander Shenkin, Norma Salinas, Benjamin Blonder, Roberta E. Martin, Rosa Castro-Ccossco, Percy Chambi-Porroa, Sandra Diaz, Brian J. Enquist, Gregory P. Asner, Yadvinder Malhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Leaf wetting is often considered to have negative effects on plant function, such that wet environments may select for leaves with certain leaf surface, morphological, and architectural traits that reduce leaf wettability. However, there is growing recognition that leaf wetting can have positive effects. We measured variation in two traits, leaf drip tips and leaf water repellency, in a series of nine tropical forest communities occurring along a 3300-m elevation gradient in southern Peru. To extend this climatic gradient, we also assembled published leaf water repellency values from 17 additional sites. We then tested hypotheses for how these traits should vary as a function of climate. Contrary to expectations, we found that the proportion of species with drip tips did not increase with increasing precipitation. Instead, drip tips increased with increasing temperature. Moreover, leaf water repellency was very low in our sites and the global analysis indicated high repellency only in sites with low precipitation and temperatures. Our findings suggest that drip tips and repellency may not solely reflect the negative effects of wetting on plant function. Understanding the drivers of leaf wettability traits can provide insight into the effects of leaf wetting on plant, community, and ecosystem function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)989-1001
Number of pages13
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume214
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Wettability
wettability
Water
leaves
Peru
Temperature
Climate
Ecosystem
wet environmental conditions
water
forest communities
tropical forests
plant communities
temperature

Keywords

  • cloud forest
  • contact angle
  • drip tips
  • ecohydrology
  • foliar water uptake
  • functional traits
  • leaf hydrophobicity
  • leaf water repellency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Goldsmith, G. R., Bentley, L. P., Shenkin, A., Salinas, N., Blonder, B., Martin, R. E., ... Malhi, Y. (2017). Variation in leaf wettability traits along a tropical montane elevation gradient. New Phytologist, 214(3), 989-1001. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14121

Variation in leaf wettability traits along a tropical montane elevation gradient. / Goldsmith, Gregory R.; Bentley, Lisa Patrick; Shenkin, Alexander; Salinas, Norma; Blonder, Benjamin; Martin, Roberta E.; Castro-Ccossco, Rosa; Chambi-Porroa, Percy; Diaz, Sandra; Enquist, Brian J.; Asner, Gregory P.; Malhi, Yadvinder.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 214, No. 3, 01.05.2017, p. 989-1001.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Goldsmith, GR, Bentley, LP, Shenkin, A, Salinas, N, Blonder, B, Martin, RE, Castro-Ccossco, R, Chambi-Porroa, P, Diaz, S, Enquist, BJ, Asner, GP & Malhi, Y 2017, 'Variation in leaf wettability traits along a tropical montane elevation gradient', New Phytologist, vol. 214, no. 3, pp. 989-1001. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14121
Goldsmith GR, Bentley LP, Shenkin A, Salinas N, Blonder B, Martin RE et al. Variation in leaf wettability traits along a tropical montane elevation gradient. New Phytologist. 2017 May 1;214(3):989-1001. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14121
Goldsmith, Gregory R. ; Bentley, Lisa Patrick ; Shenkin, Alexander ; Salinas, Norma ; Blonder, Benjamin ; Martin, Roberta E. ; Castro-Ccossco, Rosa ; Chambi-Porroa, Percy ; Diaz, Sandra ; Enquist, Brian J. ; Asner, Gregory P. ; Malhi, Yadvinder. / Variation in leaf wettability traits along a tropical montane elevation gradient. In: New Phytologist. 2017 ; Vol. 214, No. 3. pp. 989-1001.
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