The Scaling Relationships between Leaf Mass and Leaf Area of Vascular Plant Species Change with Altitude.

TitleThe Scaling Relationships between Leaf Mass and Leaf Area of Vascular Plant Species Change with Altitude.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPan S, Liu C, Zhang W, Xu S, Wang N, Li Y, Gao J, Wang Y, Wang G
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue10
Paginatione76872
Date Published2013
Abstract

The scaling relationship between leaf dry mass and leaf surface area has important implications for understanding the ability of plants to harvest sunlight and grow. Whether and how the scaling relationships vary across environmental gradients are poorly understood. We analyzed the scaling relationships between leaf mass and leaf area of 121 vascular plant species along an altitudinal gradient in a subtropical monsoon forest. The slopes increased significantly with altitude, it varied from less than 1 at low altitude to more than 1 at high altitude. This means that plants growing at high altitude allocate proportionately more biomass to support tissues in larger leaves and less in smaller leaves, whereas the reverse is true at low altitude. This pattern can be explained by different leaf strategies in response to environmental pressure and constrains.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0078109
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE