Biomass allocation and long-term growth patterns of temperate lianas in comparison with trees

Ryuji Ichihashi, Masaki Tateno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The host-dependent support habit of lianas is generally interpreted as a strategy designed to reduce resource investment in mechanical tissues; this allows preferential allocation to leaf and stem extension, thereby enhancing productivity and competitive abilities. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously tested. We examined the aboveground allometries regarding biomass allocation (leaf mass and current-year stem mass (approximated as biomass allocated to extension growth) vs total aboveground mass) and long-term apparent growth patterns (height and aboveground mass vs age, i.e. numbers of growth rings) for nine deciduous liana species in Japan. Lianas had, on average, three- and five-fold greater leaf and current-year stem mass, respectively, than trees for a given aboveground mass, whereas the time course to reach the forest canopy was comparable and biomass accumulation during that period was only one-tenth that of co-occurring canopy trees. The balance between the lengths of yearly stem extension and existing older stems indicated that lianas lost c. 75% of stem length during growth to the canopy, which is probably a consequence of the host-dependent growth. Our observations suggest that, although lianas rely on hosts mechanically, allowing for short-term vigorous growth, this habit requires a large cost and could limit plant growth over protracted periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-612
Number of pages9
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume207
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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