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Altitudinal variation in leaf mass per unit area, leaf tissue density and foliar nitrogen and phosphorus content along an Amazon-Andes gradient in Peru

van de Weg, Martine J; Meir, Patrick; Grace, J; Atkin, Owen

Description

Background: Leaf traits are important in determining the capacity for a plant to acquire carbon, but few data are available for montane cloud forests in the Andes. Aims: To investigate the changes in leaf traits along a large altitudinal transect (220-3600 m) from lowland to montane cloud forest in Peru. Methods: We determined leaf mass per area (LMA, g m-2), leaf tissue density (Ld, g cm-3), and foliar nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) content, both on a mass (Nm and Pm, %) and area (Na and Pa,...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorvan de Weg, Martine J
dc.contributor.authorMeir, Patrick
dc.contributor.authorGrace, J
dc.contributor.authorAtkin, Owen
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T23:06:48Z
dc.identifier.issn1755-0874
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/62811
dc.description.abstractBackground: Leaf traits are important in determining the capacity for a plant to acquire carbon, but few data are available for montane cloud forests in the Andes. Aims: To investigate the changes in leaf traits along a large altitudinal transect (220-3600 m) from lowland to montane cloud forest in Peru. Methods: We determined leaf mass per area (LMA, g m-2), leaf tissue density (Ld, g cm-3), and foliar nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) content, both on a mass (Nm and Pm, %) and area (Na and Pa, g m-2) basis for the most abundant species locally. Results: LMA increased with altitude (62.8-169.4 g m-2), though overall, LMA was lower than in comparable tropical elevation gradients. Nm declined significantly with altitude (2.39-1.25%, P < 0.05), but Nm contents were higher than in comparable studies. The relatively high Nm and low LMA values are consistent with published global leaf trait datasets. No altitudinal trend for Pm was found; rather, our data highlighted the spatial variability in Pm (and Pa) within and among sites at different elevations. Foliar N:P ratios did not show a trend with altitude and did not indicate N limitation except at 3000 m altitude. Conclusions: Though leaf traits showed altitudinal trends similar to other studies, contrary to the general hypothesis, our data suggest that the tropical montane forests presented here are not N limited.
dc.publisherTaylor & Francis Group
dc.sourcePlant Ecology and Diversity
dc.subjectKeywords: Elevation gradient; Foliar nutrients; Leaf mass per area; Leaf traits; Nitrogen; Phosphorus; Tropical montane cloud forests
dc.titleAltitudinal variation in leaf mass per unit area, leaf tissue density and foliar nitrogen and phosphorus content along an Amazon-Andes gradient in Peru
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume2
dc.date.issued2009
local.identifier.absfor060705 - Plant Physiology
local.identifier.absfor060203 - Ecological Physiology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu9204316xPUB739
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4956746xPUB368
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationvan de Weg, Martine J, University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationMeir, Patrick, University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationGrace, J, University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationAtkin, Owen, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage243
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage254
local.identifier.doi10.1080/17550870903518045
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T11:53:48Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-77958186601
local.identifier.thomsonID000274579400003
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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