Canopy chemistry expresses the life-history strategies of lianas and trees

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Lianas are canopy climbers that depend upon host trees for structural support needed to maximize solar radiation capture. Lianas are a prominent feature in many tropical forests. As climbing plants, lianas have a much-reduced need for the woody tissue investments required to stand freely, nevertheless they successfully gain access to the upper canopy of their host trees. This chapter explains the additional factors mediating differences in the liana and tree foliar chemical traits that underlie their distinct life strategies. It considers differences in the soils found in the three major ecoregions: Madagascar, Australasia and Neotropics. Lianas appear capable of taking maximum advantage of limiting nutrients, allocating relatively more to their foliage in warmer conditions. Systematic differences in nutrient concentrations, particularly P and Ca, favor liana growth and metabolic responses to elevated CO2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEcology of Lianas
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781118392409
ISBN (Print)9781118392492
StatePublished - Dec 31 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Canopy lianas
  • Ecoregions
  • Leaf chemical database
  • Soils
  • Trees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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