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Evidence of the ‘plant economics spectrum’ in a subarctic flora
Responsible organisation
2010 (English)In: Journal of Ecology, Vol. 98, no 2, p. 362-373Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. A fundamental trade‐off among vascular plants between traits inferring rapid resource acquisition and those leading to conservation of resources has now been accepted broadly, but is based on empirical data with a strong bias towards leaf traits. Here, we test whether interspecific variation in traits of different plant organs obeys this same trade‐off and whether within‐plant trade‐offs are consistent between organs.

2. Thereto, we measured suites of the same chemical and structural traits from the main vegetative organs for a species set representing aquatic, riparian and terrestrial environments including the main vascular higher taxa and growth forms of a subarctic flora. The traits were chosen to have consistent relevance for plant defence and growth across organs and environments: carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, lignin, dry matter content, pH.

3. Our analysis shows several new trait correlations across leaves, stems and roots and a striking pattern of whole‐plant integrative resource economy, leading to tight correspondence between the local leaf economics spectrum and the root (r = 0.64), stem (r = 0.78) and whole‐plant (r = 0.93) economics spectra.

4. Synthesis. Our findings strongly suggest that plant resource economics is consistent across species’ organs in a subarctic flora. We provide thus the first evidence for a ‘plant economics spectrum’ closely related to the local subarctic ‘leaf economics spectrum’. Extending that concept to other biomes is, however, necessary before any generalization might be made. In a world facing rapid vegetation change, these results nevertheless bear considerable prospects of predicting below‐ground plant functions from the above‐ground components alone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 98, no 2, p. 362-373
Keywords [en]
dry matter content, growth form, nutrient content, phylogeny, plant trait, specific leaf area, terrestrial and aquatic environments, trade-off, vegetative organs
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8125DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01615.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8125DiVA, id: diva2:1288745
Available from: 2019-02-14 Created: 2019-02-14 Last updated: 2019-02-14

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Publisher's full texthttps://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01615.x
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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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