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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
October 31, 2014

Canadian Excellence

Shade tolerance in tropical and temperate trees



Location: Various tropical and temperate forests

Collaborators: SC Thomas


One of the key factors dictating sapling performance in the forest is shade tolerance. Forests exhibit considerable spatial heterogeneity in soil water and nutrients. Despite this, belowground resources are assumed to impact sapling growth and survivorship only after light limitation is removed. We have developed a growth-based method of shade tolerance classification to facilitate examination of the inter- and intra-specific variation in shade tolerance. We will be taking this research in a new direction examining ecotypic variation in shade tolerance in temperate tree species.

Related Publication: Baltzer & Thomas Am. J. Bot. (2004) 92:214; Baltzer & Thomas (2007) Oecologia 153:209; Baltzer & Thomas (2007) Journal of Ecology 95: 1205; Baltzer & Thomas in revision at Tree Physiology.