Intraspecific Relationships among Wood Density, Leaf Structural Traits and Environment in Four Co-Occurring Species of Nothofagus in New ZealandReport as inadecuate




Intraspecific Relationships among Wood Density, Leaf Structural Traits and Environment in Four Co-Occurring Species of Nothofagus in New Zealand - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Plant functional traits capture important variation in plant strategy and function. Recent literature has revealed that within-species variation in traits is greater than previously supposed. However, we still have a poor understanding of how intraspecific variation is coordinated among different traits, and how it is driven by environment. We quantified intraspecific variation in wood density and five leaf traits underpinning the leaf economics spectrum leaf dry matter content, leaf mass per unit area, size, thickness and density within and among four widespread Nothofagus tree species in southern New Zealand. We tested whether intraspecific relationships between wood density and leaf traits followed widely reported interspecific relationships, and whether variation in these traits was coordinated through shared responses to environmental factors. Sample sites varied widely in environmental variables, including soil fertility 25–900 mg kg–1 total P, precipitation 668–4875 mm yr–1, temperature 5.2–12.4 °C mean annual temperature and latitude 41–46 °S. Leaf traits were strongly correlated with one another within species, but not with wood density. There was some evidence for a positive relationship between wood density and leaf tissue density and dry matter content, but no evidence that leaf mass or leaf size were correlated with wood density; this highlights that leaf mass per unit area cannot be used as a surrogate for component leaf traits such as tissue density. Trait variation was predicted by environmental factors, but not consistently among different traits; e.g., only leaf thickness and leaf density responded to the same environmental cues as wood density. We conclude that although intraspecific variation in wood density and leaf traits is strongly driven by environmental factors, these responses are not strongly coordinated among functional traits even across co-occurring, closely-related plant species.



Author: Sarah J. Richardson , Robert B. Allen, Rowan P. Buxton, Tomás A. Easdale, Jennifer M. Hurst, Christopher W. Morse, Rob D. Smisse

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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