The impact of drought on vessel architecture and function has been broadly assessed for a variety of tree species in the last decades, but the hydraulic plasticity under temperature increase has scarcely been studied. The effect of drought on tree-ring width and specific hydraulic conductivity depends on relict-tree species resilience to climatic adaptability and its wood anatomical responses to climatic oscillations. We assessed the vessel architecture adaptation of two threatened Peruvian Andean Polylepis species (P. rodolfo-vasquezii and P. tarapacana). We found that historical Peruvian drought years differentially affected Polylepis species, where P. rodolfo-vasquezii showed vessel anatomical features significantly sensitive to drought events when contrasted with P. tarapacana. The drought effect influenced the capacity of Polylepis species to adjust the tree-ring width and vessel anatomical traits of their hydraulic system. Our results suggest that drought events influence Polylepis species’ adaptability and resilience to dry periods and could also restrict them from remaining as a part of the Peruvian Andean puna and mountain ecosystems.
Nota bibliográficaPublisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.