functional traits; wood anatomy; wood description; statistics; correspondance analysis; central Africa; Congo Basin; tropical forest; tropical wood; tropical trees
[en] The tropical moist forest is a biome with a high number of species that are functionally different. The question arises whether there are patterns in the spectra of wood anatomical features according to functional types. Here we propose to present the main anatomical characteristics of 600 tropical species from the Guineo-Congolian domain in relationship with their ecology. We cross-checked two databases: the anatomical database InsideWood and the CoForTraits database of functional traits produced during the CoForChange project. After characterizing the main trends of the dataset, we performed multivariate analyses between the wood traits (i.e. the anatomical features) and six groups of functional traits: leaf phenology, regeneration guild, dispersal syndrome, life form, plant maximum height, and wood specific gravity. Results showed (i) that several wood features were specific to the tropics, to Africa or only to the Guineo-Congolian region, and (ii) that phylogeny explained the main part of the variation among the traits, whereas (iii) wood structure provided nonetheless interesting functional information related to gradients in plant growth, survival, and dispersal, and (iv) that there was a functional convergence in the study species in response to similar environmental constraints. These observations suggest that certain anatomical features can be used as indicators of functional traits in species-rich biomes. Further research will enable us to increase the input of wood anatomy in explaining the functional trade-offs in African tropical species.
Life sciences: Multidisciplinary, general & others Environmental sciences & ecology Phytobiology (plant sciences, forestry, mycology...)