The co-occurrence of evergreen and deciduous species in tropical dry forests suggests the existence of different water-use strategies among the species. Fu et al. study six evergreen and six deciduous tree species co-occurring in a tropical dry karst forest in south-west China and find that evergreen tree species have higher cavitation resistance and greater leaf water-stress tolerance, enabling them to maintain their stem and leaf function in the dry season, while deciduous species have greater hydraulic efficiency and higher photosynthetic capacity in the wet season. The results show correlated evolution in drought tolerance between stems and leaves.
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New in Annals of Botany