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Title: Generality of leaf trait relationships: A test across six biomes

Abstract

Convergence in interspecific leaf trait relationships across diverse taxonomic groups and biomes would have important evolutionary and ecological implications. Such convergence has been hypothesized to result from trade-offs that limit the combination of plant traits for any species. Here the authors address this issue by testing for biome differences in the slope and intercept of interspecific relationships among leaf traits: longevity, net photosynthetic capacity (A{sub max}), leaf diffusive conductance (G{sub S}), specific leaf area (SLA), and nitrogen (N) status, for more than 100 species in six distinct biomes of the Americas. The six biomes were: alpine tundra-subalpine forest ecotone, cold temperate forest-prairie ecotone, montane cool temperate forest, desert shrubland, subtropical forest, and tropical rain forest. Despite large differences in climate and evolutionary history, in all biomes mass-based leaf N (N{sub mass}), SLA, G{sub S}, and A{sub max} were positively related to one another and decreased with increasing leaf life span. The relationships between pairs of leaf traits exhibited similar slopes among biomes, suggesting a predictable set of scaling relationships among key leaf morphological, chemical, and metabolic traits that are replicated globally among terrestrial ecosystems regardless of biome or vegetation type. However, the intercept (i.e., the overall elevation of regression lines)more » of relationships between pairs of leaf traits usually differed among biomes. With increasing aridity across sites, species had greater A{sub max} for a given level of G{sub S} and lower SLA for any given leaf life span. Using principal components analysis, most variation among species was explained by an axis related to mass-based leaf traits (A{sub max}, N, and SLA) while a second axis reflected climate, G{sub S}, and other area-based leaf traits.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7]
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN (United States). Dept. of Forest Resources
  2. Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States). Dept. of Applied Science
  3. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Forestry
  4. Forest Service, Otto, NC (United States). Coweeta Hydrological Lab.
  5. Clemson Univ., Georgetown, SC (United States). Baruch Forest Inst.
  6. Florida Atlantic Univ., Davie, FL (United States). Div. of Science
  7. Inst. of Arctic and Alpine Research, Boulder, CO (United States). Mountain Research Station|[Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Evolutionary, Population, and Organismic Biology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY
Sponsoring Org.:
National Science Foundation, Washington, DC (United States); USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
687377
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-76CH00016
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Ecology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 80; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: PBD: Sep 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; FORESTS; LEAVES; GENETIC VARIABILITY; LIFE SPAN; PHOTOSYNTHESIS; CLIMATES

Citation Formats

Reich, P.B., Ellsworth, D.S., Walters, M.B., Vose, J.M., Gresham, C., Volin, J.C., and Bowman, W.D. Generality of leaf trait relationships: A test across six biomes. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.1890/0012-9658(1999)080[1955:GOLTRA]2.0.CO;2.
Reich, P.B., Ellsworth, D.S., Walters, M.B., Vose, J.M., Gresham, C., Volin, J.C., & Bowman, W.D. Generality of leaf trait relationships: A test across six biomes. United States. doi:10.1890/0012-9658(1999)080[1955:GOLTRA]2.0.CO;2.
Reich, P.B., Ellsworth, D.S., Walters, M.B., Vose, J.M., Gresham, C., Volin, J.C., and Bowman, W.D. Wed . "Generality of leaf trait relationships: A test across six biomes". United States. doi:10.1890/0012-9658(1999)080[1955:GOLTRA]2.0.CO;2.
@article{osti_687377,
title = {Generality of leaf trait relationships: A test across six biomes},
author = {Reich, P.B. and Ellsworth, D.S. and Walters, M.B. and Vose, J.M. and Gresham, C. and Volin, J.C. and Bowman, W.D.},
abstractNote = {Convergence in interspecific leaf trait relationships across diverse taxonomic groups and biomes would have important evolutionary and ecological implications. Such convergence has been hypothesized to result from trade-offs that limit the combination of plant traits for any species. Here the authors address this issue by testing for biome differences in the slope and intercept of interspecific relationships among leaf traits: longevity, net photosynthetic capacity (A{sub max}), leaf diffusive conductance (G{sub S}), specific leaf area (SLA), and nitrogen (N) status, for more than 100 species in six distinct biomes of the Americas. The six biomes were: alpine tundra-subalpine forest ecotone, cold temperate forest-prairie ecotone, montane cool temperate forest, desert shrubland, subtropical forest, and tropical rain forest. Despite large differences in climate and evolutionary history, in all biomes mass-based leaf N (N{sub mass}), SLA, G{sub S}, and A{sub max} were positively related to one another and decreased with increasing leaf life span. The relationships between pairs of leaf traits exhibited similar slopes among biomes, suggesting a predictable set of scaling relationships among key leaf morphological, chemical, and metabolic traits that are replicated globally among terrestrial ecosystems regardless of biome or vegetation type. However, the intercept (i.e., the overall elevation of regression lines) of relationships between pairs of leaf traits usually differed among biomes. With increasing aridity across sites, species had greater A{sub max} for a given level of G{sub S} and lower SLA for any given leaf life span. Using principal components analysis, most variation among species was explained by an axis related to mass-based leaf traits (A{sub max}, N, and SLA) while a second axis reflected climate, G{sub S}, and other area-based leaf traits.},
doi = {10.1890/0012-9658(1999)080[1955:GOLTRA]2.0.CO;2},
journal = {Ecology},
number = 6,
volume = 80,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {9}
}