Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (8): 847-860.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0428

• Reviews • Previous Articles    

Research progress on leaf mass per area

Ming-Xiu LIU1, Guo-Lu LIANG2,*()   

  1. 1College of Animal Science and Technology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China

    2College of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
  • Online:2016-08-23 Published:2016-08-10
  • Contact: Guo-Lu LIANG


Leaf mass per area (LMA) is a composite structural parameter as well as a basic leaf functional trait in the leaf economics spectrum (LES). It is not only closely related to many physiological responses of plants, but also can measure the investment of dry mass per unit of light-intercepting leaf area. LMA is considered an important indicator of plant ecological strategies and has been studied widely in plant ecology, agronomy, forestry, and plant physiology. This paper elucidates the structural analysis and computational methods of LMA at the organizational scales of whole leaf, tissues and cells, examines the influence of LMA on photosynthesis, and discusses the inherent differences in LMA and the responses of LMA to environmental stresses (temperature, water and light), aiming for clarifying research frameworks and methods in studies of LMA and providing guidance on future research.

Key words: leaf mass per area (LMA), leaf density, leaf thickness, photosynthesis, mesophyll conductance to CO2 (gm), environmental stress

Fig. 1

Conceptual diagram of the anatomical characteristics at three integration levels (leaf, tissue, and cell) (marked with different gray) to show variation in leaf mass per area (LMA). Cited from Villar et al. (2013). LD, leaf density; LVA, leaf volume per area."

Fig. 2

The relationship between mesophyll conductance (gm) and leaf mass per area (LMA) in different species, in the absence of stress. Data from high-altitude plants are indicated by filled upward triangles, old leaves by filled downward triangles and shade leaves by filled squares. Other leaves are indicated by open circles. Cited from Flexas et al. (2008)."

Table 1

Abbreviations and associated meanings and units used in this paper"

缩写 Abbreviation 含义 Meaning 单位 Unit
LMA 比叶质量 Leaf mass per area g·m-2
SLA 比叶面积 Specific leaf area m2·kg-1
LD 叶片密度 Leaf density g·mL-1
VA 叶片不同组织及气室单位面积体积 Volume per area of different tissues and air spaces mL·m-2
LVA 叶片体积 Leaf volume per area mL·m-2
Tcw 细胞壁厚度 Mesophyll cell wall thickness μm
gm 叶肉细胞导度 Mesophyll conductance to CO2 mol CO2 m-2·s-1·bar-1
Aarea 单位叶面积光合速率 Net CO2 assimilation rate per unit leaf area mol·m-2·s-1
Amass 叶片单位质量光合速率 Net CO2 assimilation rate per unit leaf mass mol·g-1·s-1
Narea 单位叶面积氮含量 Nitrogen per unit leaf area %
Nmass 叶片单位质量氮含量 Nitrogen per unit leaf mass %
air 气室 Air spaces -
epi 表皮层与角质层 Epidermis and cuticle -
mes 叶肉细胞 Mesophyll (spongy and palisade parenchyma) -
vst 维管组织与厚壁组织 Vascular tissue plus sclerenchymatous tissue -
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