Liana species have a variety of habitat preferences. Although morphological traits connected to resource acquisition may vary by habitat preference, few studies have investigated such associations in lianas. In previous work on temperate lianas, we observed (1) free standing leafy shoots and (2) climbing shoots that clung to host plants; we examined relationships between habitat preference and shoot production patterns in five liana species. Among the five species, two were more frequent at the forest edges (forest-edge species), and two were more common within the forests (forest-interior species). The proportion of climbing shoots in current-year shoot mass of young plants (3-8 m in height) was greater in the forest-edge species (45-60%) than in the forest-interior species (6-30%). In consequence, there was a greater leaf mass ratio in the total current-year shoots of forest-interior species. This, combined with a greater specific leaf area, endows forest-interior species with a leaf area per unit shoot mass double that of forest-edge species. Forest-edge species had longer individual climbing shoots whose length per unit stem mass was smaller than in forest-interior lianas. Extension efficiency, measured as the sum of the climbing stem length per unit current-year shoot mass, was thus similar between forest-edge and interior species. In conclusion, liana shoot production patterns were related to species habitat preferences. A trade-off between current potential productivity (leaves) and the ability to search for hosts and/or well-lit environments (climbing stems) may underpin these relationships.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science