Climatic variations influence the adaptive capacity of trees within tropical montane cloud forests species. Phenology studies have dominated current studies on tree species. Leaf vein morphology has been related to specific climatic oscillations and varies within species along altitudinal gradients. We tested that certain Neotropical broad leaf Magnolia species might be more vulnerable to leaf vein adaptation to moisture than others, as they would be more resilient to the hydric deficit. We assessed that leaf vein trait variations (vein density, primary vein size, vein length, and leaf base angle) among four Magnolia species (Magnolia nuevoleonensis, M. alejandrae, M. rzedowskiana, and Magnolia vovidesii) through the Mexican Tropical montane cloud forest with different elevation gradient and specific climatic factors. The temperature, precipitation, and potential evaporation differed significantly among Magnolia species. We detected that M. rzedowskiana and M. vovidesii with longer leaves at higher altitude sites are adapted to higher humidity conditions, and that M. nuevoleonensis and M. alejandrae inhabiting lower altitude sites are better adjusted to the hydric deficit. Our results advance efforts to identify the Magnolia species most vulnerable to climate change effects, which must focus priorities for conservation of this ecosystem, particularly in the Mexican tropical montane cloud forests.
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