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Leaf physiological traits in relation to resprouter ability in the Mediterranean Basin

AuthorsHernández Lledó, Encarni I.; Pausas, J. G. ; Vilagrosa, Alberto
KeywordsFunctional traits efficiency
Leaf nitrogen and carbon
Photosynthetic capacity
PSII photochemical
Specific leaf area
Issue DateDec-2011
CitationPlant Ecology 212(12): 1959-1966 (2011)
AbstractIn Mediterranean ecosystems, fire is a strong selective agent among plants, and the different post-fire regeneration strategies (e.g. resprouting and non-resprouting) have implications for other plant traits. Because young plants of non-resprouters need to grow quickly and mature well before the next fire, we predict that they should possess leaf traits related to increased efficiency in growth and resource acquisition compared with resprouter species. To test this hypothesis, we measured specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen and carbon concentrations and leaf physiological traits, including gas exchange parameters and chlorophyll fluorescence, in 19 Mediterranean species cultivated in a common garden. Both cross-species and phylogenetically informed analyses suggest that non-resprouters have better physiological performance at the leaf level (i.e. higher photosynthetic capacity) than resprouters. All these results suggest that non-resprouter species are able to take greater advantage for vegetative growth and carbon fixation than resprouters during periods when water is readily available. The contrasted physiological differences between resprouters and non-resprouters reinforce the idea that these two syndromes are functionally different (i.e. they are functional types).
Description8 páginas, 2 figuras, 1 tabla.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org//10.1007/s11258-011-9976-1
Appears in Collections:(CIDE) Artículos
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