Altmetric

Frost and leaf-size gradients in forests: global patterns and experimental evidence

File Description SizeFormat 
*Lusk et al.pdfAccepted version886.93 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Frost and leaf-size gradients in forests: global patterns and experimental evidence
Authors: Lusk, CH
Clearwater, MJ
Laughlin, DC
Harrison, SP
Prentice, IC
Nordenstahl, M
Smith, B
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Explanations of leaf size variation commonly focus on water availability, yet leaf size also varies with latitude and elevation in environments where water is not strongly limiting. We provide the first conclusive test of a prediction of leaf energy balance theory that may explain this pattern: large leaves are more vulnerable to night-time chilling, because their thick boundary layers impede convective exchange with the surrounding air. Seedlings of 15 New Zealand evergreens spanning 12-fold variation in leaf width were exposed to clear night skies, and leaf temperatures were measured with thermocouples. We then used a global dataset to assess several climate variables as predictors of leaf size in forest assemblages. Leaf minus air temperature was strongly correlated with leaf width, ranging from -0.9 to -3.2°C in the smallest- and largest-leaved species, respectively. Mean annual temperature and frost-free period were good predictors of evergreen angiosperm leaf size in forest assemblages, but no climate variable predicted deciduous leaf size. Although winter deciduousness makes large leaves possible in strongly seasonal climates, large-leaved evergreens are largely confined to frost-free climates because of their susceptibility to radiative cooling. Evergreen leaf size data can therefore be used to enhance vegetation models, and to infer palaeotemperatures from fossil leaf assemblages.
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2018
Date of Acceptance: 29-Mar-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/59677
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.15202
ISSN: 0028-646X
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 565
End Page: 573
Journal / Book Title: New Phytologist
Volume: 219
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Authors New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust
Sponsor/Funder: AXA Research Fund
Funder's Grant Number: AXA Chair Programme in Biosphere and Climate Impacts
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Plant Sciences
boundary layer
frost
latitudinal gradients
leaf energy balance theory
leaf habit
leaf width
New Zealand
night-time chilling
NEW-ZEALAND
RADIATION FROST
TEMPERATURE
VEGETATION
ASSEMBLAGES
PLANTS
ENVIRONMENTS
PHYSIOGNOMY
MOUNTAINS
ECOSYSTEM
New Zealand
boundary layer
frost
latitudinal gradients
leaf energy balance theory
leaf habit
leaf width
night-time chilling
New Zealand
boundary layer
frost
latitudinal gradients
leaf energy balance theory
leaf habit
leaf width
night-time chilling
Plant Biology & Botany
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: England
Online Publication Date: 2018-05-16
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Creative Commonsx