Spatial trends in leaf size of Amazonian rainforest trees

Malhado, A. C. M., Malhi, Y., Whittaker, R. J., Ladle, R. J., ter Steege, H., Phillips, O. L., Butt, N., Aragao, L. E. O. C., Quesada, C. A., Araujo-Murakami, A., Arroyo, L., Peacock, J., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Baker, T. R., Anderson, L. O., Almeida, S., Higuchi, N., Killeen, T. J., Monteagudo, A., Neill, D., Pitman, N., Prieto, A., Salomao, R. P., Vasquez-Martinez, R. and Laurance, W. F. (2009) Spatial trends in leaf size of Amazonian rainforest trees. Biogeosciences, 6 8: 1563-1576.

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Author Malhado, A. C. M.
Malhi, Y.
Whittaker, R. J.
Ladle, R. J.
ter Steege, H.
Phillips, O. L.
Butt, N.
Aragao, L. E. O. C.
Quesada, C. A.
Araujo-Murakami, A.
Arroyo, L.
Peacock, J.
Lopez-Gonzalez, G.
Baker, T. R.
Anderson, L. O.
Almeida, S.
Higuchi, N.
Killeen, T. J.
Monteagudo, A.
Neill, D.
Pitman, N.
Prieto, A.
Salomao, R. P.
Vasquez-Martinez, R.
Laurance, W. F.
Title Spatial trends in leaf size of Amazonian rainforest trees
Journal name Biogeosciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1726-4170
Publication date 2009-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 6
Issue 8
Start page 1563
End page 1576
Total pages 14
Place of publication Goettingen, Germany
Publisher Copernicus GmbH
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Leaf size influences many aspects of tree function such as rates of transpiration and photosynthesis and, consequently, often varies in a predictable way in response to environmental gradients. The recent development of pan-Amazonian databases based on permanent botanical plots has now made it possible to assess trends in leaf size across environmental gradients in Amazonia. Previous plot-based studies have shown that the community structure of Amazonian trees breaks down into at least two major ecological gradients corresponding with variations in soil fertility (decreasing from southwest to northeast) and length of the dry season (increasing from northwest to south and east). Here we describe the geographic distribution of leaf size categories based on 121 plots distributed across eight South American countries. We find that the Amazon forest is predominantly populated by tree species and individuals in the mesophyll size class (20.25-182.25 cm 2). The geographic distribution of species and individuals with large leaves (gt;20.25 cm 2) is complex but is generally characterized by a higher proportion of such trees in the northwest of the region. Spatially corrected regressions reveal weak correlations between the proportion of large-leaved species and metrics of water availability. We also find a significant negative relationship between leaf size and wood density. 
Keyword Wood Specific Gravity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Wed, 28 May 2014, 15:40:00 EST by Nathalie Butt on behalf of School of Biological Sciences