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Seasonal variations in phenological traits: leaf shedding and cambial activity in Parkia nitida Miq. and Parkia velutina Benoist (Fabaceae) in tropical rainforest

Morel H., Mangenet T., Beauchêne J., Ruelle J., Nicolini E.A., Heuret P., Thibaut B.. 2015. Trees, 29 (4) : p. 973-984.

DOI: 10.1007/s00468-015-1177-4

In French Guiana, the leaf and cambium phenologies should not be considered only as exogenous-driven processes, as the dry season, but also as endogenous-driven, as tree development stage. Abstract Studies of the periodicity of wood formation provide essential data on tree age and on factors that control tree growth. The aim of this work was to investigate cambial phenology and its relation with leaf phenology and climatic seasonality in two briefly deciduous tropical rainforest species belonging to the genus Parkia. Wood microcores were collected every 15 days from April 2009 to February 2012 from five trees of each species. The microcores were stained with cresyl violet acetate to facilitate counting the number of cells in the cambial zone, in the radial enlargement zone and wall-thickening zone. At the same time, we observed leaf shedding pattern in the crown of the same trees. In both species, cambial activity was significantly reduced during the leafless period. In P. nitida, these two concomitant events were observed during the dry season whereas in P. velutina they can occur anytime in the year with no apparent link with seasonality. In conclusion, the period of reduced cambial activity in some tropical rainforest trees may be independent of rainfall seasonality and not necessarily follow an annual cycle. It appears that leaf phenology is a good proxy to estimate cambial activity.

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale humide; bois; cambium; croissance; feuille; phénologie; saison sèche; Âge; chute des feuilles; parkia; guyane française; france

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