Journal Article

Direct and Indirect Relationships Between Specific Leaf Area, Leaf Nitrogen and Leaf Gas Exchange. Effects of Irradiance and Nutrient Supply

Driss Meziane and Bill Shipley

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 88, issue 5, pages 915-927
Published in print November 2001 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online November 2001 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbo.2001.1536
Direct and Indirect Relationships Between Specific Leaf Area, Leaf Nitrogen and Leaf Gas Exchange. Effects of Irradiance and Nutrient Supply

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  • Ecology and Conservation
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We present a series of competing path models relating interspecific patterns between specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen content, net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance and test these against data from 22 species of herbaceous plants grown under controlled conditions with contrasting irradiance and nutrient supply rates. We then compare these results with two previous data sets, one based on field measures and one based on glasshouse measures, to determine the robustness of the results. Only one model was able to account for the patterns of direct and indirect effects between the four variables to all data sets. In this model specific leaf area is the forcing variable that directly affects both leaf nitrogen levels and net photosynthetic rates. Leaf nitrogen then directly affects net photosynthetic rates which in turn then affect stomatal conductance to water. Copyright 2001 Annals of Botany Company

Keywords: Comparative ecology, modelling, path analysis, photosynthesis, plant strategies, SLA, specific leaf area, stomatal conductance

Journal Article.  10 words. 

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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