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Data for: The interplay of environmental cues and wood density in the vegetative and reproductive phenology of seasonally dry tropical forest trees

Cite this dataset

Luna-Nieves, Adriana L. et al. (2022). Data for: The interplay of environmental cues and wood density in the vegetative and reproductive phenology of seasonally dry tropical forest trees [Dataset]. Dryad.


The great phenological diversification characteristic of seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) suggests that these patterns result from a complex interplay between exogenous (e.g., climatic) and endogenous (e.g., morphological, physiological, anatomical) factors. Based on the well-established relationships of wood density with water-storing capacity and cavitation vulnerability in woody plants, we hypothesized differential vegetative and reproductive phenological responses to environmental cues for hardwood and softwood species. To test this hypothesis, we compared phenological patterns of pairs of conspecific populations of 10 species differing in wood density, occurring in two localities with slightly different climatic regimes, and evaluated the influence of three environmental variables (rainfall, photoperiod, temperature) on them. Our results, based on the assessment of the overlap of the phenological curves of conspecific populations occurring in different sites and on linear modeling, showed different effects of the environmental factors on phenophase attributes, depending on wood density of the study species, thus supporting our hypothesis. Leaf out in softwood species took place in the dry season, they shed the foliage at the first signs of drought, and once leafless, they flowered and fruited shortly after. By contrast, hardwood species bore leaves and flowers in the rainy season, shed their leaves several months after the rain ceased, and produced fruits during the dry season. We conclude that the role of environmental variables in cueing growth and reproduction cycles in SDTF tree species is interrelated with their wood density, a key endogenous factor crucially linked to plant hydraulics in these water-limited ecosystems.


Please see article in Biotropica for a detailed description of field and analytical methods.

Usage notes

Luna-Nieves et al DataBase

This database contains phenological observations for ten tropical dry forest tree species recorded over a one-year period (March 2012 - February 2013) in two localities from the Pacific watershed of Mexico. The ten species were monitored at the two localities.

The format is an Excel Book containing three pages. Page 'Contact' contains names and e-mails of authors to be contacted for use of the database. Page 'Metadata' includes the names and descriptions of the 13 variables recorded on page 'Database'. These variables are Site (categorical), Species (categorical), Individual (numeric), Wood density (numeric), Wood density group (categorical), Phenophase (categorical), Month (categorical), Year (categorical), Relative intensity (numeric), Photoperiod (numeric), Precipitation (numeric), Precipitation -1 (numeric), and Tmax (numeric).


Consejo Nacional de Ciencias y Tecnología, Mexico, Award: CB-2009-01-128136

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Award: PAPIIT-IN207512-3

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Award: Postdoctoral Fellowship