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CABI Book Chapter

Tropical forests of the Guiana shield: ancient forests in a modern world.

Book cover for Tropical forests of the Guiana shield: ancient forests in a modern world.


This book is a comprehensive and detailed synthesis of the natural and human history of forests in the Guiana Shield, which is an ancient geological region located in northeastern South America (constitutes all or most of Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela), and the forces that have combined to shape their unique place in the modern tropical world. Chapters cover geolo...


Chapter 3 (Page no: 195)

Ecophysiological patterns in Guianan forest plants.

This chapter reviews the currently available knowledge on traits relevant for resource acquisition and stress tolerance in forest plants of the Guianas. Photosynthesis is discussed focusing on acclimation of plants to light climate changes and some data about ontogenetic changes associated with this. Growth performance based on photosynthetic carbon gain and morphological adjustments in different gap environments is also discussed. The water relations, which may be particularly relevant in very dry years and when floods occur, are examined. Acquisition of nutrients is reviewed, with particular attention to the importance of nitrogen fixation among the abundant leguminous species, and the possible role of toxic concentrations of aluminium. Most of the studies are from French Guiana and Guyana. Data from the Guianas are supplemented with data from other neotropical forests where relevant and are discussed in that broader perspective.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Ancient land in a modern world. Author(s): Hammond, D. S.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 15) Biophysical features of the Guiana shield. Author(s): Hammond, D. S.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 233) Rainforest vertebrates and food plant diversity in the Guiana Shield. Author(s): Forget, P. M. Hammond, D. S.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 295) Folivorous insects in the rainforests of the Guianas. Author(s): Basset, Y. Springate, N. D. Charles, E.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 321) Flower-visiting insects in Guianan forests: pollinators, thieves, lovers and their foes. Author(s): Dijn, B. P. E. de
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 343) Guianan forest dynamics: geomorphographic control and tropical forest change across diverging landscapes. Author(s): Hammond, D. S.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 381) Socio-economic aspects of Guiana Shield forest use. Author(s): Hammond, D. S.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 481) Forest conservation and management in the Guiana Shield. Author(s): Hammond, D. S.