Differences between height- and light-dependent changes in shoot traits in five deciduous tree species.

Abstract:

:The effects of tree height on shoot traits may in some cases differ in magnitude and direction from the effects of light. Nevertheless, general patterns of change in shoot traits in relation to variations in height and light have not so far been revealed. A comprehensive analysis of the differences between the effects of height and light on a range of leaf and shoot traits is important for the scaling of these traits to individual trees. We investigated the biomass allocation and structure of current-year shoots at the top of the crowns of five deciduous tree species in Japan. Height effect was investigated by comparing shoot traits among trees of different heights growing under a high light environment. The effects of light were examined by comparing saplings growing in high- and low-light environments. The effects of light were significant for most traits, while those of height were not significant for some traits. The magnitudes of the effects of light were larger than those of height for most traits related to biomass allocation. There was an extreme difference between the effects of height and light in the direction of change in the length of current-year shoots and in the number of standing leaves. The measures of both parameters increased with the increase in light, but decreased with the increase in tree height. Thus, the effects of height and light on diverse traits at the level of current-year shoots were not always similar. These results suggest that great care must be taken when scaling shoot traits from small trees to tall trees because the effects of height and light can be complex.

journal_name

Oecologia

journal_title

Oecologia

authors

Osada N,Okabe Y,Hayashi D,Katsuyama T,Tokuchi N

doi

10.1007/s00442-013-2744-2

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2014-01-01 00:00:00

pages

1-12

issue

1

eissn

0029-8549

issn

1432-1939

journal_volume

174

pub_type

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