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Leaf trait relationships in Australian plant species

Wright, IJ, Groom, PK, Lamont, BB, Poot, P, Prior, LD, Reich, PB, Schulze, ED, Veneklaas, EJ and Westoby, M (2004). Leaf trait relationships in Australian plant species. Functional Plant Biology,31(5):551-558.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 58 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Leaf trait relationships in Australian plant species
Author Wright, IJ
Groom, PK
Lamont, BB
Poot, P
Prior, LD
Reich, PB
Schulze, ED
Veneklaas, EJ
Westoby, M
Journal Name Functional Plant Biology
Publication Date 2004
Volume Number 31
Issue Number 5
ISSN 1445-4408   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-3042744332
Start Page 551
End Page 558
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Field of Research 0607 - Plant Biology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Leaf trait data were compiled for 258 Australian plant species from several habitat types dominated by woody perennials. Specific leaf area (SLA), photosynthetic capacity, dark respiration rate and leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus ( P) concentrations were positively correlated with one another and negatively correlated with average leaf lifespan. These trait relationships were consistent with previous results from global datasets. Together, these traits form a spectrum of variation running from species with cheap but frequently replaced leaves to those with strategies more attuned to a nutrient-conserving lifestyle. Australian species tended to have SLAs at the lower end of the spectrum, as expected in a dataset dominated by sclerophyllous species from low fertility or low rainfall sites. The existence of broad-scale, 'global' relationships does not imply that the same trait relationships will always be observed in small datasets. In particular, the probability of observing concordant patterns depends on the range of trait variation in a dataset, which, itself, may vary with sample size or species-sampling properties such as the range of growth forms, plant functional 'types', or taxa included in a particular study. The considerable scatter seen in these broad-scale trait relationships may be associated with climate, physiology and phylogeny.
Keywords dark respiration
leaf lifespan
plant strategies
specific leaf area
nitrogen-use efficiency
isotope discrimination
northern australia
functional types
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