Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Relationships among Leaf, Stem and Root Traits of the Dominant Shrubs from Four Vegetation Zones in Shaanxi Province, China

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution

Leaves, stems and roots as the main plant organs have specific functions and together modulate survival, growth and reproduction. The relationships between these organs are high research priority, and there have been many hypotheses about the trade-offs between them. However, the results of these hypotheses are inconsistent and confusing. In this study, we examined 15 core traits of leaves, stems and woody roots of 27 dominant shrub species and further tested the hypotheses about the relationships between these organs. Measurements were made for shrubs across 9 sites including desert, steppe, temperate forest and subtropical forest in Shaanxi Province of China. Many significant correlations of different organ traits were found, e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus content showed a significant positive correlation, either within or across organs. Also, representatives of structural traits (carbon content and dry matter content) and mineral nutrient traits (nitrogen and phosphorus content) showed significant positive correlations among the leaves, stems and roots. The results of this study supported the hypotheses that there were significant correlations between leaf and root and between stem and root. Similarly, we found that trade-off between leaf and stem-plus-root showed a significant correlation. Thus, root traits, which are difficult to measure, are coordinated with those of the leaf and stem. We conclude that the leaf component of shrubs is a good proxy for the whole-plant in studying trade-offs and it could provide a convenient way to understand the whole-plant economic spectrum by focusing on the leaf economic spectrum.

Affiliations: 1: School of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China; ; 2: College of Grassland and Environment Sciences, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumchi, China


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Baraloto C.,, Timothy Paine C.,, Poorter L.,, Beauchene J.,, Bonal D.,, Domenach A.M.,, Hérault B.,, Patiño S.,, Roggy J.C.,, Chave J. 2010. "Decoupled leaf and stem economics in rain forest trees". Ecol Lett.Vol 13 (11): 13381347. [Crossref]
2. Chai Yongfu,, Xiao Liu,, Ming Yue,, Jiangchao Guo,, Mao wang,, Pengcheng Wan,, Xiaofei Zhang,, Chenguang Zhang. 2015. "Plant functional traits suggest a change in novel ecological strategies for dominant species in the stages of forest succession". Oecologia, Vol 180 (3): 771783.
3. Chapin III F.S. 1980. "The mineral nutrition of wild plants". Annu Rev Ecol Syst.Vol 11: 233260. [Crossref]
4. Chave J.,, Coomes D.,, Jansen S.,, Lewis S.L.,, Swenson N.G.,, Zanne A.E. 2009. "Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum". Ecol Lett.Vol 12 (4): 351366. [Crossref]
5. Cornelissen J.H.C.,, Aerts R.,, Cerabolini B.,, Werger M.J.A.,, Heijden M.G.A.V.D. 2001. "Carbon cycling traits of plant species are linked with mycorrhizal strategy". Oecologia.Vol 129 (4): 611619. [Crossref]
6. Cornelissen J.H.C.,, Lavorel S.,, Garnier E.,, Díaz S.,, Buchmann N.,, Gurvich D.E.,, Reich P.B.,, ter Steege H.,, Morgan H.D.,, van der Heijden M.G.A.,, Pausas J.G.,, Poorter H. 2003. "A handbook of protocols for standardised and easy measurement of plant functional traits worldwide". Aust J Bot.Vol 51 (4): 335380. [Crossref]
7. Cornelissen J.H.C.,, Quested H.M.,, Logtestijn R.S.P.V.,, Pérezharguindeguy N.,, Gwynnjones D.,, Díaz S.,, Callaghan T.V., Press M.C., Aerts R. 2006. "Foliar pH as a new plant trait: can it explain variation in foliar chemistry and carbon cycling processes among subarctic plant species and types?" Oecologia.Vol 147 (2): 315326. [Crossref]
8. Craine J.M., & Lee W.G. 2003. "Covariation in leaf and root traits for native and non-native grasses along an altitudinal gradient in New Zealand". Oecologia.Vol 134: 471478. [Crossref]
9. Craine J.M.,, Lee W.G.,, Bond W.J.,, Williams R.J.,, Johnson L.C. 2005. "Environmental constraints on a global relationship among leaf and root traits of grasses". Ecology.Vol 86: 1219. [Crossref]
10. Díaz S.,, Hodgson J.G.,, Thompson K.,, Cabido M.,, Cornelissen J.H.C.,, Jalili A.,, Montserrat-Martí G.,, Grime J.P.,, Zarrinkamar F.,, Asri Y.,, Band S.R.,, Basconcelo S.,, Castro-Díez P.,, Funes G.,, Hamzehee B.,, Khoshnevi M.,, Pérez-Harguindeguy N.,, Pérez-Rontomé M.C.,, Shirvany F.A.,, Vendramini F.,, Yazdani S.,, Abbas-Azimi R.,, Bogaard A.,, Boustani S.,, Charles M.,, Dehghan M.,, de Torres-Espuny L.,, Falczuk V.,, Guerrero-Campo J.,, Hynd A.,, Jones G.,, Kowsary E.,, Kazemi-Saeed F.,, Maestro-Martínez M.,, Romo-Díez A.,, Shaw S.,, Siavash B.,, Villar-Salvador P.,, Zak M.R. 2004. "The plant traits that drive ecosystems: evidence from three continents". J Veg Sci.Vol 15: 295304. [Crossref]
11. Díaz S.,, Lavorel S.,, de Bello F.,, Quetier F.,, Grigulis K.,, Robson M. 2007. "Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Vol 104: 684689. [Crossref]
12. Engelbrecht B.M.,, Comita L.S.,, Condit R.,, Kursar T.A.,, Tyree M.T.,, Turner B.L.,, Hubbell S.P. 2007. "Drought sensitivity shapes species distribution patterns in tropical forests". Nature.Vol 447 (7140): 8082. [Crossref]
13. Fortunel C.,, Fine P.V.,, Baraloto C. 2012. "Leaf, stem and root tissue strategies across 758 Neotropical tree species". Funct Ecol.Vol 26 (5): 11531161. [Crossref]
14. Freschet G.T.,, Cornelissen J.H.C.,, Logtestijn R.S.P.V.,, Aerts R. 2010. "Evidence of the ‘plant economics spectrum’ in a subarctic flora". J Ecol.Vol 98 (2): 362373. [Crossref]
15. Grime J.P.,, Thompson K.,, Hunt R.,, Hodgson J.G.,, Cornelissen J.H.C.,, Rorison I.H.,, Hendry G.A.F.,, Ashenden T.W.,, Askew A.P.,, Band S.R. 1997. "Integrated Screening Validates Primary Axes of Specialisation in Plants". Oikos.Vol 79 (2): 259281. [Crossref]
16. Ishida A.,, Nakano T.,, Yazaki K.,, Matsuki S.,, Koike N.,, Lauenstein D.,, Shimizu M.,, Yamashita N. 2008. "Coordination between leaf and stem traits related to leaf carbon gain and hydraulics across 32 drought-tolerant angiosperms". Oecologia.Vol 156: 193202. [Crossref]
17. Kerkhoff A.J.,, Fagan W.F.,, Elser J.J.,, Enquist B.J. 2006. "Phylogenetic and growth form variation in the scaling of nitrogen and phosphorus in the seed plants". Am Nat.Vol 168: E103E122. [Crossref]
18. Laughlin D.C. 2014. "The intrinsic dimensionality of plant traits and its relevance to community assembly". J Ecol.Vol 102 (1): 186193. [Crossref]
19. Liu G.,, Freschet G.T.,, Pan X.,, Cornelissen J.H.C.,, Li Y.,, Dong M. 2010. "Coordinated variation in leaf and root traits across multiple spatial scales in Chinese semi-arid and arid ecosystems". New Phytol.Vol 188: 543553. [Crossref]
20. Murphy J., & Riley J.P. 1962. "A modified single solution method for the determination of phosphate in natural waters". Anal Chim Acta.Vol 27 (00): 3136.
21. Pérez-Harguindeguy N.,, Díaz S.,, Garnier E. 2013. "New handbook for standardised measurement of plant functional traits worldwide". Aust J Bot.Vol 61 (3): 167234. [Crossref]
22. Pérez-Ramos I., M.,, Roumet C.,, Cruz P.,, Blanchard A.,, Autran P.,, Garnier E. 2012. "Evidence for a ‘plant community economics spectrum’ driven by nutrient and water limitations in a Mediterranean rangeland of southern France". J Ecol.Vol 100 (6): 13151327. [Crossref]
23. Pratt R.,, Jacobsen A.,, Ewers F.,, Davis S. 2007. "Relationships among xylem transport, biomechanics and storage in stems and roots of nine Rhamnaceae species of the California chaparral". New Phytol.Vol 174 (4): 787798. [Crossref]
24. Reich P.B., Walters M.B., Ellsworth D.S. 1992. "Leaf life-span in relation to leaf, plant, and stand characteristics among diverse ecosystems". Ecol Monogr.Vol 62 (3): 365392. [Crossref]
25. Reich P.B.,, Walters M.B.,, Ellsworth D.S. 1997. "From tropics to tundra: global convergence in plant functioning". P Natl Acad Sci USA. Vol 94: 1373013734. [Crossref]
26. Reich P.B.,, Tjoelker M.G.,, Walters M.B.,, Vanderklein D.W.,, Bushena C. 1998. "Close association of RGR, leaf and root morphology, seed mass and shade tolerance in seedlings of nine boreal tree species grown in high and low light". Funct Ecol.Vol 12: 327338. [Crossref]
27. Reich P.B.,, Wright I.J.,, Cavender-Bares J.,, Craine J.M.,, Oleksyn J.,, Westoby M.,, Walters M.B. 2003. "The evolution of plant functional variation: traits, spectra, and strategies". Int. J. Plant Sci.Vol 164 (S3): S143S164. [Crossref]
28. Reich P.B.,, Tjoelker M.G.,, Pregitzer K.S.,, Wright I.J.,, Oleksyn J.,, Machado J. L. 2008. "Scaling of respiration to nitrogen in leaves, stems and roots of higher land plants". Ecol Lett.Vol 11 (8): 793801. [Crossref]
29. Reubens B.,, Poesen J.,, Danjon F.,, Geudens G.,, Muys B. 2007. "The role of fine and coarse roots in shallow slope stability and soil erosion control with a focus on root system architecture: A review". Trees.Vol 21 (4): 385402. [Crossref]
30. Suding K.N., & Goldstein L.J. 2008. "Testing the Holy Grail framework: using functional traits to predict ecosystem change". New Phytol.Vol 180: 559562. [Crossref]
31. Tjoelker M.G.,, Craine J.M.,, Wedin D.A.,, Reich P.B.,, Tilman D. 2005. "Linking leaf and root trait syndromes among 39 grassland and savannah species". New Phytol.Vol 167: 493508. [Crossref]
32. Tufekcioglu A.,, Raich J.W.,, Isenhart T.,, Schultz R.C. 1999. "Fine root dynamics, coarse root biomass, root distribution, and soil respiration in a multispecies riparian buffer in Central Iowa, USA". Agroforest Syst.Vol 44 (2–3): 163174.
33. Tyree M.T., & Ewers F.W. 1991. "The hydraulic architecture of trees and other woody plants". New Phytol.Vol 119: 345360. [Crossref]
34. Weiher E.,, van der Werf A.,, Thompson K.,, Roderick M.,, Garnier E.,, Eriksson O. 1999. "Challenging Theophrastus: a common core list of plant traits for functional ecology". J Veg Sci.Vol 10: 609620. [Crossref]
35. Westoby M.,, Falster D.S.,, Moles A.T.,, Vesk P.A.,, Wright I.J. 2002. "Plant ecological strategies: some leading dimensions of variation between species". Annu Rev Ecol Syst.Vol 33: 125159. [Crossref]
36. Withington J.M.,, Reich P.B.,, Oleksyn J.,, Eissenstat D.M. 2006. "Comparisons of structure and life span in roots and leaves among temperate trees". Ecol Monogr.Vol 76: 381397. [Crossref]
37. Wright I.J.,, & Cannon K. 2001. "Relationships between leaf lifespan and structural defences in a low-nutrient, sclerophyll flora". Func Ecol.Vol 15 (3): 351359. [Crossref]
38. Wright I.J.,, Reich P.B.,, Cornelissen J.H.,, Falster D.S.,, Groom P.K.,, Hikosaka K.,, Lee W.,, Lusk C.H.,, Niinemets Ü.,, Oleksyn J. 2005. "Modulation of leaf economic traits and trait relationships by climate". Global Ecol Biogeogr.Vol 14 (5): 411421. [Crossref]
39. Wright I.J.,, Reich P.B.,, Westoby M.,, Ackerly D.D.,, Baruch Z.,, Bongers F.,, Cavender-Bares J.,, Chapin T.,, Cornelissen J.H.,, Diemer M., and et al. 2004. "The worldwide leaf economics spectrum". Nature.Vol 428 (6985): 821827. [Crossref]
40. Wright I.J.,, Falster D.S.,, Melinda P.,, Mark W. 2006. "Cross-species patterns in the coordination between leaf and stem traits, and their implications for plant hydraulics". Physiol Plantarum.Vol 127 (3): 445456. [Crossref]
41. Wright I.J.,, Ackerly D.D.,, Bongers F.,, Harms K.E.,, Ibarra-Manriquez G.,, Martinez-Ramos M.,, Mazer S.J.,, Muller-Landau H.C.,, Paz H.,, Pitman N.C.A.,, Poorter L.,, Silman M.R.,, Vriesendorp C.F.,, Webb C.O.,, Westoby M.,, Wright S.J. 2007. "Relationships among ecologically important dimensions of plant trait variation in seven neotropical forests". Ann Bot-London.Vol 99 (5): 1003. [Crossref]
42. Zhu Z.C. 1981. "The types and basic characteristics of shrubs on Qinling Mountains". Shaanxi Forest Science and Technology.Vol 2: 4253 (In Chinese).

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation