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Title

Intra-specific latitudinal clines in leaf carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus and their underlying abiotic correlates in Ruellia nudiflora

AuthorsAbdala-Roberts, Luis; Covelo, Felisa; Parra-Tabla, Víctor ; Berny-Mier y Terán, Jorge C.; Mooney, Kailen A.; Moreira Tomé, Xoaquín
Issue Date12-Jan-2018
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationScientific Reports 8: 596 (2018)
AbstractWhile plant intra-specific variation in the stoichiometry of nutrients and carbon is well documented, clines for such traits have been less studied, despite their potential to reveal the mechanisms underlying such variation. Here we analyze latitudinal variation in the concentration of leaf nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), carbon (C) and their ratios across 30 populations of the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora. In addition, we further determined whether climatic and soil variables underlie any such latitudinal clines in leaf traits. The sampled transect spanned 5° latitude (ca. 900 km) and exhibited a four-fold precipitation gradient and 2 °C variation in mean annual temperature. We found that leaf P concentration increased with precipitation towards lower latitudes, whereas N and C did not exhibit latitudinal clines. In addition, N:P and C:P decreased towards lower latitudes and latitudinal variation in the former was weakly associated with soil conditions (clay content and cation exchange capacity); C:N did not exhibit a latitudinal gradient. Overall, these results emphasize the importance of addressing and disentangling the simultaneous effects of abiotic factors associated with intra-specific clines in plant stoichiometric traits, and highlight the previously underappreciated influence of abiotic factors on plant nutrients operating under sharp abiotic gradients over smaller spatial scales.
Description8 páginas, 1 figura y 1 tabla.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18875-w
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/169400
DOI10.1038/s41598-017-18875-w
E-ISSN2045-2322
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