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Type: Journal article
Title: Components of leaf-trait variation along environmental gradients
Author: Dong, N.
Prentice, I.C.
Wright, I.J.
Evans, B.J.
Togashi, H.F.
Caddy-Retalic, S.
McInerney, F.A.
Sparrow, B.
Leitch, E.
Lowe, A.J.
Citation: New Phytologist, 2020; 228(1):82-94
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 0028-646X
Statement of
Ning Dong, Iain Colin Prentice, Ian J. Wright, Bradley J. Evans, Henrique F. Togashi, Stefan Caddy‐Retalic ... et al.
Abstract: Leaf area (LA), mass per area (LMA), nitrogen per unit area (Narea ) and the leaf-internal to ambient CO2 ratio (χ) are fundamental traits for plant functional ecology and vegetation modelling. We aimed to assess how their variation, within and between species, tracks environmental gradients. Measurements were made on 705 species from 116 sites within a broad north-south transect from tropical to temperate Australia. Trait responses to environment were quantified using multiple regression; within- and between-species responses were compared using analysis of covariance and trait-gradient analysis. Leaf area, the leaf economics spectrum (indexed by LMA and Narea ), and χ (from stable carbon isotope ratios) varied almost independently among species. Across sites, however, χ and LA increased with mean growing-season temperature (mGDD0 ) and decreased with vapour pressure deficit (mVPD0 ) and soil pH. LMA and Narea showed the reverse pattern. Climate responses agreed with expectations based on optimality principles. Within-species variability contributed <10% to geographic variation in LA but >90% for χ, with LMA and Narea intermediate. These findings support the hypothesis that acclimation within individuals, adaptation within species, and selection among species combine to create predictable relationships between traits and environment. However, the contribution of acclimation/adaptation versus species selection differs among traits.
Keywords: Acclimation
intraspecific variation
leaf area
leaf economics spectrum
plant functional traits
species selection
trait-gradient analysis
Description: First published:21 March 2020
Rights: © 2020 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2020 New Phytologist Trust.
DOI: 10.1111/nph.16558
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 8
Mathematical Sciences publications

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