Seasonal impacts on leaf attributes of several tree species growing in three diverse ecosystems of south-eastern Australia

C S I R O Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal Of Botany, 2004, 52 pp. 293 - 301
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Patterns of leaf attributes were examined for six woody species growing in a eucalypt woodland, a mangorve, or a heathland in coastal NSW, Australia, during winter and summer. It was found that the rate of assimilation per unit of dry mass (Amass) of the mangrove species was largest, woodland species exhibiting an intermedaite rate and heathland species the smallest values of Amass. Mean habitat Amass did not change from winter to summer in the woodland or mangrove species but increased significantly in the heathland species. Averag specific leaf area (SLA) was largest for the mangrove species and smallest for the heathland species, with woodland species showing intermediate values. SLA of all species within a habitat did not change from winter to summer.Mean foliar nitrogen content (Nmass of the mangrove species was highest, intermediate for woodland species and lowest for heathland species. NMass was significantly related to Amass in both summer and winter and the individual slopes for this relationship in the summer and winter differed. In contrast, a common slope waws fitted to the relationship between SLA and Amass for the two seasons. A common slope between seasons was also shown for the relationship between SLA and NMass. There was no significant diffeence in slope elevation between summer and winter for the SLA v. Nmass relationship. Trends within relationships among leaf attributes were the same as those found for a wide range of plant species worldwide, but the absolute values were loer than those foudn elsewhere. Therefore the global relationships in terms of trends (positive or negative) that have been determined overseas apply in Australia but the elevation of th sloep and the magnitidue of the slope are reduced (Amass v. Nmass) or increased (Amass v. SLA and Nmass v. SLA) compared with global trends.
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