Better understanding of the liana community assembly

Lianas are important components of forest ecosystems, however little is known about how liana species regenerate and perform, and how this is driven by their traits and the environment. We try to clarify how differences in functional traits shape liana performance, niches, species distribution and dynamics.

This project will be conducted in the 20-ha forest dynamics plot of Xishuangbanna, SW China, where trees and lianas were inventoried.

For the 50 most abundant lianas species we will measure 14 key functional traits that are important for the carbon, water and nutrient balance of the plant. We will use this information to characterize how differences in functional traits shape liana performance (i.e. growth, mortality and recruitment), niches (i.e. light, water and nutrients), and species distribution.

We will also evaluate the changes in liana community structure and composition over a 5-year period. The results of this project will provide a better understanding of liana community assembly and their role in forest ecosystems.