The Functional Significance of Leaf Shape Variation - Towards a Consensus from Gene to Community
Niklas, Karl J. , Cobb, Edward D. .
The scaling of functional leaf traits across and within six species-groups: "breaking even" or "diminishing returns"?
Over 5,000 measurements from 1,943 plant species were used to determine the scaling relationships among the dry mass, fresh mass, surface area, living mass, and nitrogen/phosphorus content of mature individual leaves. The exponents governing these relationships were numerically similar, but differed statistically, among six species-groups (ferns, graminoids, forbs, shrubs, trees, and vines) and among 19 individual species for which sufficient data were available to construct intraspecific trends. Within and across all species comparisons, most scaling exponents were less than 1.0, indicating that both intraspecific and interspecific increases in traits influencing foliar function, like surface area and living mass, barely (or fail to) keep pace with increasing leaf dry mass. Thus, a general (but non-canonical) set of relationships exists, one that limits the size-range of leaves as a fundamental property of tracheophytes.
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1 - Cornell University, Department of Plant Biology, Ithaca, New York, 14853, (USA)
2 - Cornell University, Department of Plant Biology, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
lamina dry mass
specific leaf area.
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Williford B/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 1:00 PM