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Data from: Allometric scaling laws linking biomass and rooting depth vary across ontogeny and functional groups in tropical dry forest lianas and trees

Citation

Smith-Martin, Chris M. et al. (2019), Data from: Allometric scaling laws linking biomass and rooting depth vary across ontogeny and functional groups in tropical dry forest lianas and trees, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6djh9w0x4

Abstract

There are two theories about how allocation of metabolic products occurs. The allometric biomass
partitioning theory (APT) suggests that all plants follow common allometric scaling rules. The
optimal partitioning theory (OPT) predicts that plants allocate more biomass to the organ capturing
the most limiting resource.

We used whole-plant harvests of mature and juvenile tropical deciduous trees, evergreen trees, and
lianas and model simulations to address the following knowledge gaps: 1) Do mature lianas comply
with the APT scaling laws or do they invest less biomass in stems compared to trees? 2) Do juveniles
follow the same allocation patterns as mature individuals? 3) Is either leaf phenology or life form a
predictor of rooting depth?

We found: 1) mature lianas followed the same allometric scaling laws as trees. 2) Juveniles and
mature individuals do not follow the same allocation patterns. 3) Mature lianas had shallowest coarse
roots and evergreen trees had the deepest.

We demonstrate: 1) mature lianas invested proportionally similar biomass to stems as trees and not
less, as expected. 2) Lianas were not deeper rooted than trees as had been previously proposed. 3)
Evergreen trees had the deepest roots, which is necessary to maintain canopy during simulated dry
seasons.

Methods

We harvested above and belowground 1-year-old, 2-year-old, and mature lianas and trees. We weighed all the dry biomass and measured the diameter and length of the stem and roots.

Usage Notes

RootSumDimBase_mm = the sum of all the diameters of the roots measured at the base of each root.

RootSumLength_cm = the sum od the length of all of the roots

MaxStemLength_cm =  maximum rooting depth

SLALeafWeight_g = the leaf weight from specific leaf are used to calculate total canopy area

SLALeafArea_cm2 = the leaf area from specific leaf are used to calculate total canopy area

Funding

NSF CAREER Grant Division of Environmental Biology, Award: 1053237

Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program, Award: DESC0014363