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Data from: Revisiting the relative growth rate hypothesis for gymnosperm and angiosperm species co‐occurrence


Piper, Frida I.; Hoch, Guenter; Fajardo, Alex (2019), Data from: Revisiting the relative growth rate hypothesis for gymnosperm and angiosperm species co‐occurrence, Dryad, Dataset,


Premise of the study: It is unclear to what extent the co-occurrence of angiosperm and gymnosperm species in some marginal ecosystems is explained by reduced growth in angiosperms due to carbon (C) limitation, and by high stress tolerance in gymnosperms associated with lack of vessels and resource conservation. Methods: We examined growth patterns and traits associated with C balance in four evergreen angiosperm species (including one vesselless species, Drimys winteri) and three gymnosperm tree species of a cold-temperate rainforest in southern Chile. We measured the mean basal area increment for the first 50 (BAI50) and the last 10 years (BAI10), wood density, leaf lifespan, and non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations in different organs. Key results: BAI50 was 6-fold higher in angiosperms than in gymnosperms, and c. 4-fold higher in Drimys than in the fastest growing gymnosperm. BAI10 and aboveground NSC concentrations were significantly higher and leaf lifespan lower in angiosperms than in gymnosperms; these differences though were largely driven by the slow growth and low NSC concentrations of the Cupressaceae species (Pilgerodendron uviferum), while the two Podocarpaceae showed similar BAI10 and NSC concentrations to angiosperms. In angiosperms, NSC and starch concentrations were generally higher in species with lower BAI10, indicating no severe C limitation. Conclusions: The co-occurrence of angiosperms and gymnosperms in cold-temperate rainforests of southern Chile is not explained by growth disadvantages and C limitation in angiosperms. High leaf longevity, but not lack of vessels, appeared to favor resource conservation and C balance in some gymnosperms (Podocarpaceae). In compliance with data protection regulations, please contact the publication office if you would like to have your personal information removed from the database.

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