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  • 1
    ISSN: 0740-0020
    Source: Elsevier Journal Backfiles on ScienceDirect 1907 - 2002
    Topics: Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 0931-1890
    Keywords: Key words Environmental gradient ; Leaf fibre content ; Leaf morphology ; Leaf nutrient content ; Mediterranean climate
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Notes: Abstract  Leaf features were examined in three Quercus species (Q. coccifera, Q. ilex and Q. faginea) along a steep rainfall gradient in NE Spain. The analyzed leaf traits were area, thickness, density, specific mass, leaf concentration of nitrogen, phosphorous, lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose, both on a dry weight basis (Nw, Pw, Lw, Cw, Hw) and on an area basis (Na, Pa, La, Ca, Ha). These traits were regressed against annual precipitation and correlated with each other, revealing different response patterns in the three species. Q. faginea, a deciduous tree, did not show any significant correlation with rainfall. In Q. coccifera, an evergreen shrub, Nw, Na, Lw, La and Ca increased with higher annual rainfall, while Hw decreased. In Q. ilex, an evergreen tree, leaf area, Pw and Lw increased with precipitation, whereas specific leaf mass, thickness and Ha showed the reverse response. Correlations between the leaf features revealed that specific mass variation in Q. faginea and Q. coccifera could be explained by changes in leaf density, while in Q. ilex specific leaf mass was correlated with thickness. Specific leaf mass in the three species appeared positively correlated with all the chemical components on a leaf area basis except with lignin in Q. ilex and with P in Q. ilex and Q. faginea. In these two tree species Pw showed a negative correlation with specific leaf mass. It is suggested that each species has a different mechanism to cope with water shortage which is to a great extent related to its structure as a whole, and to its habit.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Leaf habit ; Life forms ; RGR ; Stem anatomy ; Woody plants
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Stem traits were analysed in laboratory-grown seedlings of 80 European woody and semiwoody species of known potential relative growth rate (RGR) and of similar ontogenetic phase. The objectives were, firstly, to assess the relation between stem structure and plant growth potential and, secondly, to explore how stem structure varies among species differing in life form and leaf habit. Hydraulic conductance was represented by the mean diameter of the widest xylem conduits (Dmax), and structural strength by the percentage of xylem tissue occupied by cell wall material (CWx) or stem tissue density (SD). Across all species RGR showed a weak positive correlation with Dmax and weak negative ones with CWx and SD, with slow-growers showing great dispersion of stem trait values. In the RGR-Dmax relationship this dispersion disappeared when trees were removed from the analysis. None of the relationships were significant among tree species alone. It was suggested that fast-growers require a xylem with wide conduits (high Dmax) to achieve high hydraulic conductivity, and “cheaply” constructed stems (low CWx and SD) to maximise allocation to leaves. However, the possession of such traits does not guarantee fast growth, as other factors may constrain RGR elsewhere in the plant. Deciduous seedlings showed higher Dmax and lower CWx than evergreens. Higher Dmax could reflect an innate higher tolerance of conductivity loss by freeze-induced embolism in deciduous plants, which are not burdened by the maintenance of foliage in winter. In contrast, life forms were differentiated most clearly by SD. For instance, shrub seedlings had less dense stem tissues than tree seedlings, possibly because they need less investment in long-term strength and stature.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Deciduous ; Evergreen ; Nitrogen ; Potassium ; Specific leaf area
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract This study aimed to identify functional correlates of seedling leaf nutrient content among woody species and to characterise functional species groups with respect to leaf nutrient attributes. Seedlings of 81 woody species from the temperate zone of western Europe were grown in a standard laboratory environment with standard, near-optimal nutrient availability. Weight-based leaf N content (Nwght) was positively correlated with mean relative growth rate (RGR), but the correlation with mean RGR was tighter when leaf N was expressed on a whole-plant weight basis: leaf nitrogen weight ratio (LNWR). Area-based leaf N content (Narea) was not associated with mean RGR, but was closely correlated with the quotient of saturated leaf weight and leaf area. Weight-based leaf K content (Kwght) was a close correlate of the saturated/dry weight ratio of the foliage. Within the lower range, Kwght corresponded with growth-related nutrient attributes, but higher values appeared to indicate succulence or remobilisable stored water. Functional groups of species and genera could be distinguished with respect to seedling leaf nutrient attributes. Deciduous woody climbers and scramblers had consistently higher leaf Nwght, LNWR and (apparently) leaf Kwght than other deciduous species or genera, and shrubs had higher values than trees. These differences seemed due partly to variation in specific leaf area. Evergreens had consistently higher leaf Narea than deciduous plants, but there were no significant differences in weight-based leaf nutrient attributes between these two groups, possibly because of `luxury nutrient consumption' by the slow-growing evergreens. Another functional group was that of the nitrogen-fixing species, which had consistently high innate leaf Nwght compared to non-N-fixers. The ecological significance of the leaf nutrient attributes in this study is discussed by comparing the seedling data with those from field-collected material, and by brief reference to the natural habitats of the species.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Leaf density ; Leaf thickness ; Leaf habit ; Life form ; Taxonomic relatedness analysis
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract  The structural causes of variation in leaf mass per area, and of variations in leaf structure accounted for by leaf habit and life form, were explored in a set of laboratory-grown seedlings of 52 European woody species. The leaf traits analysed included density, thickness, saturated mass/dry mass, and leaf nitrogen per mass and per area. Other traits described the anatomy of leaves, most of them relating to the lamina (proportions of palisade and spongy parenchymata, epidermis, air space and sclerified tissues, expressed as volume per leaf area, and per-cell transversal areas of epidermis and parenchymata), and another referring to the mid rib (transversal section of sclerified tissues). Across the whole set of species leaf mass per area was correlated with leaf density but not with thickness, and this was confirmed by taxonomic relatedness tests. Denser leaves corresponded with greater proportion of sclerified tissues in the lamina, smaller cells and lower water and N contents, but no relation was found with the proportion of air space in the lamina. Taxonomic relatedness analysis statistically supported the negative association of leaf density with saturated to dry leaf mass ratio. Thicker leaves also exhibited greater volume per leaf area and greater individual cell area in each of the tissues, particularly parenchyma. Mean leaf mass per area and leaf thickness were lower in deciduous than in evergreen species, but no significant differences in leaf density, proportion of sclerified tissues in the lamina or cell area were found between the two groups. Leaf mass per area was higher in trees and subshrubs than in shrubs and climbers-plus-scramblers, this rank being equal for leaf density and proportion of sclerified tissues in the lamina, and reversed for cell area. Given the standardised environment and ontogenetic phase of the seedlings, we conclude that variation in leaf structure and anatomy among species and species groups has a strong genetic basis, and is already expressed early in the development of woody plants. From an ecological viewpoint, we can interpret greater leaf mass per area across this species set as greater allocation to support and defence functions, as shown predominantly by species from resource-poor environments.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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