Dendroecology as a Research Tool to Investigate Climate Change Resilience on Magnolia vovidesii, a Threatened Mexican Cloud Forest Tree Species of Eastern Mexico

  • Ernesto Chanes Rodríguez-Ramírez
  • Isolda Luna-VegaEmail author


Magnolia vovidesii has been classified as a threatened species due to its very restricted range to the tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) of eastern Mexico. This species, as well as many other inhabiting the Mexican cloud forest, is considered as a Miocene relict, known to be limited to three localities of Veracruz, Mexico. This species is at risk because of habitat fragmentation as a product of grazing, logging, and avocado plantations, among others. In the present research, we used dendroecological techniques to evaluate the effects of climate variability on the vessel traits and growth of M. vovidesii in a locality in Veracruz, Mexico. We determined the regional climatic factors influencing the resilience of this Magnolia species. We found that the mean radial growth of this species during the past 75 years was restrained in the study site. We detected repeated narrow tree rings during the last decades (1945–2016) which correspond to historical drought events. Climate-growth analyses carried out for the period 1941–2016 point out that wood growth depends on temperature and that drought events restrict growth. Our results suggest that the resilience of TMCF where Magnolia vovidesii is codominant could depend significantly on microclimatic conditions.


Vessel plasticity Climate change Growth rates Anatomy Resilience Diffuse-porous wood Adaptability 



We thank Doroteo San Juan for guidance and for permitting the sampling at the study forest, Susana Guzmán Gómez (Laboratorio de Microscopía y Fotografía de la Biodiversidad II, Instituto de Biología, UNAM) for technical assistance with the digital photographs, and Carlos Andrés Solís Hay for his critical observations. The first author thanks the financial support granted by the postdoctoral fellowship CONACYT 2018–2019 and by the project PAPIIT-DGAPA IN223218.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernesto Chanes Rodríguez-Ramírez
    • 1
  • Isolda Luna-Vega
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Biogeografía y Sistemática, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico

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