Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (3): 242-252.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0280

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Leaf and fine root economics spectrum across 49 woody plant species in Wuyi Mountains

WANG Zhao-Ying1, CHEN Xiao-Ping1, CHENG Ying2, WANG Man-Tang3, ZHONG Quan-Lin1,4, LI Man1, CHENG Dong-Liang1,4,*()   

  1. 1Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Eco-physiology, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
    2Administrative Bureau of Jiangxi Wuyishan National Nature Reserve, Shangrao, Jiangxi 334500, China
    3School of City and Architecture Engineering, Zaozhuang University, Zaozhuang, Shandong 277160, China
    4Institute of Geography, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Received:2020-08-14 Accepted:2021-01-26 Online:2021-03-20 Published:2021-05-17
  • Contact: CHENG Dong-Liang
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(32071555);National Natural Science Foundation of China(31722007);National Natural Science Foundation of China(31971643);National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFC0505400);Fujian Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholars(2018J07003)


Aims The plant economics spectrum would explain the trade-off strategies of vascular plants between resource acquisition and resource storage, and provide a scientific basis for understanding the mechanisms of niche differentiation and species coexistence.
Methods In this study, we measured leaf/root traits of 49 woody plants species in Wuyi Mountains, including individual leaf area (ILA), specific leaf area (SLA), leaf carbon content (LCC), leaf nitrogen content (LNC) and leaf phosphorus content (LPC), root tissue density (RTD), specific root length (SRL), specific root surface area (SRA), root carbon content (RCC), root nitrogen content (RNC) and root phosphorus content (RPC). Then, we detected if the leaf and fine root economics spectrum of the plants exist, and analyzed the differences of the plant economics spectrum between evergreen and deciduous species.
Important findings The results showed that along the PC1 axis, a leaf economics spectrum (LES), a root economics spectrum (RES) and a whole-plant economics spectrum (WPES) can be defined, respectively. Most of the evergreen species were on the conservative side, while deciduous species, on the acquisitive side of the economics spectrum. There were significant positive correlations among the scores of leaf PC1, root PC1 and whole-plant PC1. In the relationships, evergreen and deciduous species shared common scaling exponents, but common scaling constants lack, revealing that the leaf and root strategies of the subtropical species are coordinated toward the integration of WPES. The evergreen and deciduous species distributed at different sides of the economics spectrum are in different ways to construct the WPES.

Key words: trade-off strategy, evergreen species, deciduous species, plant functional traits, plant economics spectrum, Wuyi Mountains