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Seasonal differences in leaf attributes in Australian tropical tree species: family and habitat comparisons

Prior, Lynda Dorothy, Bowman, David M. J. S. and Eamus, Derek (2004). Seasonal differences in leaf attributes in Australian tropical tree species: family and habitat comparisons. Functional Ecology,18(5):707-718.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 31 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Seasonal differences in leaf attributes in Australian tropical tree species: family and habitat comparisons
Author Prior, Lynda Dorothy
Bowman, David M. J. S.
Eamus, Derek
Journal Name Functional Ecology
Publication Date 2004
Volume Number 18
Issue Number 5
ISSN 1365-2435   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-5344256964
Start Page 707
End Page 718
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Oxford, UK
Publisher British Ecological Socety/Blackwell
Field of Research 0602 - Ecology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract 1. An individual evergreen leaf in the northern Australian savanna biome experiences seasonal extremes in rainfall, raising questions of whether there is a corresponding shift in the physiology of these leaves, and whether estimates of leaf function for the biome differ between wet and dry seasons. 2. A range of leaf attributes was measured for 21 tree species in four contrasting habitats during the wet season, and again during the dry season for the 14 species that retained leaves. 3. The 14 leaf-retaining species showed decreases in assimilation rates, foliar saturated water content and chlorophyll content, and increases in leaf mass per area and leaf density between wet and dry seasons. Species means were strongly correlated between seasons for attributes other than assimilation and stomatal conductance. 4. Seasonal variation in CO2 assimilation rates was larger in non-Myrtaceous species than in the leaf-retaining Myrtaceous species that largely dominate the biome, and also varied considerably among the four habitats, which had different edaphic conditions. Assimilation per unit mass decreased between the wet and dry seasons by only 5% in the Melaleuca swamp and 17% in the Eucalyptus open forest, compared with 47% in the dry monsoon forest and 57% in the mixed woodland. 5. Biome means differed between seasons because wet-season means included measurements of fully deciduous species which tended to have large, thin, nitrogen-rich leaves.
Keywords phenology
phylogeny
savanna
specific leaf area
wet-dry tropics
photosynthetic capacity
stomatal conductance
carbon assimilation
northern australia
seedling growth
life-span
plant
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00885.x   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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