Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 619-627.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.06.001

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Relationships among functional traits of Quercus species and their response to meteorological factors in the temperate zone of the North-South Transect of Eastern China

FENG Qiu-Hong1; SHI Zuo-Min1*; DONG Li-Li1,2; and LIU Shi-Rong1   

  1. 1Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environmental Sciences of State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100091, China;
    2Liaoning Academy of Forestry Science, Shenyang 110032, China
  • Received:2009-10-09 Online:2010-06-01 Published:2010-06-01
  • Contact: SHI Zuo-Min

Abstract: Aims We studied the relationships between functional traits of Quercus species and their responses to meteorological factors in the temperate zone of the North-South Transect of Eastern China (NSTEC), with the objective of finding the dynamics of the relationship between plants and environment.
Methods We measured functional traits of Quercus dominant trees in their eleven core habitats in the temperate zone of NSTEC and analyzed relationships among the traits and their responses to meteorological factors.
Important findings Although leaf mass per area (LMA) and leaf dry matters content (LDMC) could indicate life strategy of the Quercus trees, the implications of LMA was more obvious. The relationships among leaf nutrients based on area were more significant than those based on weight, and the relationships between leaf nitrogen and phosphorus contents were more significant than their relationships to potassium content except for the relationship between phosphorus content per leaf area (Parea) and potassium content per leaf area (Karea). This could be interpreted that potassium does not take part in synthesizing stable structural materials directly in plants. Mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual sunlight (MASL) were the main meteorological factors that affected the relationships among functional traits. Compared to leaf nutrients based on weight, those based on area were affected more by MAT and MASL. Mean annual rainfall (MAR) had an effect only on the relationships between Parea and other traits.