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Abstract Detail


Schmandt, Kaya R. [1], Donoghue, Michael J. [2], Sack, Lawren [3], Schmerler, S B [1], Williard, Anne [1], Clement, W L [2], Edwards, Erika [1].

Leaf lifespan is controlled by branching patterns in Viburnum (Adoxaceae).

Leaf lifespan is considered a key functional trait that has been linked to important ecological properties such as leaf mass per area, maximum photosynthetic rate, and leaf nitrogen content. A framework known as the leaf economic spectrum suggests that resource tradeoffs control the balance of these traits among species. While the relationship of leaf lifespan to other leaf traits has been extensively studied, it has not previously been evaluated within a whole organismal context. We evaluated its significance in Viburnum (Adoxaceae) by tracking the phenology and characterizing the branching architecture of 31 Viburnum species in a common garden. We tagged a minimum of 10 branches per species and tracked the lifespans of over 7,000 individual leaves throughout the 2009 growing season. Leafing phenology was clearly dictated by branching architecture, which varied among species. Our findings have significant ramifications for the leaf economic spectrum, as they point to whole-plant architecture as another determinant in the variation of leaf lifespan among closely related species.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Brown University, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 80 Waterman Street, Box G-W, Providence, RI, 02912, USA
2 - Yale University, Department Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Po Box 208105, New Haven, Connecticut, 06520-8105, USA
3 - University of California, Los Angeles, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 621 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA

leaf lifespan
leaf economic spectrum
Branching patterns

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 30
Location: 551B/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 30008
Abstract ID:502

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