Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2011, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (7): 687-698.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00687

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Within-leaf allometric relationships of mature forests in different bioclimatic zones vary with plant functional types

ZHU Jie-Dong1,2, MENG Ting-Ting1, NI Jian1*, SU Hong-Xin1, XIE Zong-Qiang1, ZHANG Shou-Ren1, ZHENG Yuan-Run1  and XIAO Chun-Wang1   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China;

    2GraduateUniversity of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2011-03-31 Revised:2011-05-07 Online:2011-08-18 Published:2011-07-01
  • Contact: NI Jian


Aims Our objectives are to determine allometric relationships between petiole mass and lamina mass, area, and volume in different bioclimatic zones and to detect the effect of plant functional types on the relationships.
Methods Typical and zonal mature forests were selected from boreal Huzhong, temperate Changbai Mountain, warm-temperate Dongling Mountain, subtropical Gutian Mountain, Shennongjia and Dujiangyan in China, and one 1 hm2 plot was investigated at each site. Traits of lamina and petiole of the dominant woody species were measured in August 2009. The relationship between lamina and lamina support was analyzed by the Standardized Major Axis estimation (model type II regression) with software (S)MATR Version 2.0.
Important findings Statistically significant allometric scaling relationships were found between petiole mass and lamina mass, area, and volume in all functional types and climate zones, with common slopes of 0.82, 0.70 and 0.80, respectively, all of which significantly departed from 1.0. Shrubs had greater lamina volume at a given petiole mass than trees, but the lamina mass and area they support were not significantly different. Evergreen species were observed to have greater lamina mass and lamina volume than deciduous ones, whereas deciduous species had a greater lamina area at a given petiole mass than evergreen ones. With the exception of Shennongjia, the species in subtropical sites were found to have greater lamina mass, lamina area, and lamina volume than temperate sites at a given petiole mass. However, the petiolar support efficiency in the subtropical climate of Shennongjia was close to sites in temperate climate. Our results indicate that the petiole constrains the maximization of lamina size (including mass, area and volume) and that the allometric relationship between lamina and lamina support varies with plant functional type, climate and habitat.

Aerts R (1995). The advantages of being evergreen. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 10, 402-407.
Anten NPR, Alcala-Herrera R, Schieving F, Onoda Y (2010). Wind and mechanical stimuli differentially affect leaf traits in Plantago major. New Phytologist, 188, 554-564.
Falster D, Warton D, Wright IJ (2006). User's guide to smatr: Standardized Major Axis Tests and Routines Version 2.0, Copyright 2006.
Harrison SP, Prentice IC, Barboni D, Kohfeld KE, Ni J, Sutra JP (2010). Ecophysiological and bioclimatic foundations for a global plant functional classification. Journal of Vegetation Science, 21, 300-317.
Li GY, Yang DM, Sun SC (2008). Allometric relationships between lamina area, lamina mass and petiole mass of 93 temperate woody species vary with leaf habit, leaf form and altitude. Functional Ecology, 22, 557-564.
Meng TT, Ni J, Harrison SP (2009). Plant morphometric traits and climate gradients in northern China: a meta-analysis using quadrat and flora data. Annals of Botany, 104, 1217-1229.
Milla R, Reich PB, Niinemets U, Castro-Diez P (2008). Environmental and developmental controls on specific leaf area are little modified by leaf allometry. Functional Ecology, 22, 565-576.
Niinemets ü (1996). Plant growth form alters the relationship between foliar morphology and species shade-tolerance ranking in temperate woody taxa. Vegetatio, 124, 145-153.
Niinemets ü, Kull O (1999). Biomass investment in leaf lamina versus lamina support in relation to growth irradiance and leaf size in temperate deciduous trees. Tree Physiology, 19, 349-358.
Niinemets ü, Portsmuth A, Tobias M (2006). Leaf size modifies support biomass distribution among stems, petioles and mid-ribs in temperate plants. New Phytologist, 171, 91-104.
Niinemets ü, Portsmuth A, Tena D, Tobias M, Matesanz S, Valladares F (2007a). Do we underestimate the importance of leaf size in plant economics? Disproportional scaling of support costs within the spectrum of leaf physiognomy. Annals of Botany, 100, 283-303
Niinemets ü, Portsmuth A, Tobias M (2007b). Leaf shape and venation pattern alter the support investments within leaf lamina in temperate species: a neglected source of leaf physiological differentiation? Functional Ecology, 21, 28-40.
Niklas KJ (1992). Gravity-induced effects on material properties and size of leaves on horizontal shoots of Acer saccharum (Aceraceae). American Journal of Botany, 79, 820-827.
Niklas KJ (1993). Testing economy in design in plants: are the petioles and rachises of leaves designed according to the principle of uniform strength. Annals of Botany, 71, 33-41.
Niklas KJ (1999). A mechanical perspective on foliage leaf form and function. New Phytologist, 143, 19-31.
Niklas KJ, Enquist BJ (2001). Invariant scaling relationships for interspecific plant biomass production rates and body size. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98, 2922-2927.
Niklas KJ, Cobb ED (2006). Biomass partitioning and leaf N, P-stoichiometry: comparisons between tree and herbaceous current-year shoots. Plant Cell and Environment, 29, 2030-2042.
Niklas KJ, Cobb ED, Niinemets ü, Reich PB, Sellin A, Shipley B, Wright IJ (2007). "Diminishing returns" in the scaling of functional leaf traits across and within species groups. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 8891-8896.
Pearcy RW, Yang W (1998). The functional morphology of light capture and carbon gain in the Redwood forest understorey plant Adenocaulon bicolor Hook. Functional Ecology, 12, 543-552.
Pitman ETG (1939). A note on normal correlation. Biometrika, 31, 9-12.
Poorter H, Niinemets ü, Poorter L, Wright IJ, Villar R (2009). Causes and consequences of variation in leaf mass per area (LMA): a meta-analysis. New Phytologist, 182, 565-588.
Price CA, Enquist BJ (2007). Scaling mass and morphology in leaves: An extension of the WBE model. Ecology, 88, 1132-1141.
Reich PB, Walters MB, Ellsworth DS (1992). Leaf life span in relation to leaf, plant, and stand characteristics among diverse ecosystems. Ecological Monographs, 62,365-392.
Shen ZH(沈泽昊), Hu HF (胡会峰), Zhou Y(周宇),Fang JY(方精云) (2004). Altitudinal patterns of plant species diversity on the southern slope of Mt. Shennongjia, Hubei, China. Biodiversity Science (生物多样性), 12, 99-107. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Takenaka A (1994). Effects of leaf blade narrowness and petiole length on the light capture efficiency of a shoot. Ecological Research, 9, 109-114.
Valladares F (1999). Architecture, ecology, and evolution of plant crowns. In: Pugnaire FI, Valladares F, eds. Handbook of functional plant ecology. New York, NY, USA, Marcel Dekker, Inc., 121-194.
Vernescu C, Ryser P (2009). Constraints on leaf structural traits in wetland plants. American Journal of Botany, 96, 1068-1074.
Warton DI, Wright IJ, Falster DS, Westoby M (2006). Bivariate line-fitting methods for allometry. Biological Reviews, 81, 259-291.
West GB, Brown JH (2005). The origin of allometric scaling laws in biology from genomes to ecosystems: towards a quantitative unifying theory of biological structure and organization. Journal of Experimental Biology, 208, 1575-1592.
Westoby M, Falster DS, Moles AT, Vesk PA, Wright IJ (2002). Plant Ecological Strategies: some leading dimensions of variation between species. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 33, 125-159.
Woodward FI (1983). The significance of interspecific differences in specific leaf area to the growth of selected herbaceous species from different altitudes. New Phytologist, 95, 313-323.
Wright IJ, Reich PB, Westoby M, Ackerly DD, Baruch Z, Bongers F, Cavender-Bares J, Chapin T, Cornelissen JHC, Diemer M, Flexas J, Garnier E, Groom PK, Gulias J, Hikosaka K, Lamont BB, Lee T, Lee W, Lusk C, Midgley JJ, Navas ML, Niinemets ü, Oleksyn J, Osada N, Poorter H, Poot P, Prior L, Pyankov VI, Roumet C, Thomas SC, Tjoelker MG, Veneklaas EJ, Villar R (2004). The worldwide leaf economics spectrum. Nature, 428, 821-827.
Wright IJ, Reich PB, Cornelissen JHC, Falster DS, Groom PK, Hikosaka K, Lee W, Lusk CH, Niinemets ü, Oleksyn J, Poorter H, Warton DI, Westoby M (2005). Modulation of leaf economic traits and trait relationships by climate. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 14, 411-421.
Xiang SA, Wu N, Sun SC (2009). Within-twig biomass allocation in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved species along an altitudinal gradient: allometric scaling analysis. Trees-Structure and Function, 23, 637-647.
No related articles found!
Full text



[1] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1994, 11(专辑): 19 .
[2] Xiao Xiao and Cheng Zhen-qi. Chloroplast 4.5 S ribosomol DNA. II Gene and Origin[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1985, 3(06): 7 -9 .
[3] CAO Cui-LingLI Sheng-Xiu. Effect of Nitrogen Level on the Photosynthetic Rate, NR Activity and the Contents of Nucleic Acid of Wheat Leaf in the Stage of Reproduction[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2003, 20(03): 319 -324 .
[4] SONG Li-Ying TAN Zheng GAO Feng DENG Shu-Yan. Advances in in vitro Culture of Cucurbitaceae in China[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2004, 21(03): 360 -366 .
[5] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1994, 11(专辑): 76 .
[6] LI Jun-De YANG Jian WANG Yu-Fei. Aquatic Plants in the Miocene Shanwang Flora[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2000, 17(专辑): 261 .
[7] Sun Zhen-xiao Xia Guang-min Chen Hui-min. Karyotype Analysis of Psathyrostachys juncea[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(01): 56 .
[8] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1994, 11(专辑): 8 -9 .
[9] Yunpu Zheng;Jiancheng Zhao * ;Bingchang Zhang;Lin Li;Yuanming Zhang . Advances on Ecological Studies of Algae and Mosses in Biological Soil Crust[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2009, 44(03): 371 -378 .
[10] Zili Wu, Mengyao Yu, Lu Chen, Jing Wei, Xiaoqin Wang, Yong Hu, Yan Yan, Ping Wan. Transcriptome Analysis of Physcomitrella patens Response to Cadmium Stress by Bayesian Network[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2015, 50(2): 171 -179 .