Journal Article

Structural variation in current-year shoots of broad-leaved evergreen tree saplings under forest canopies in warm temperate Japan

Akio Takenaka

in Tree Physiology

Volume 17, issue 3, pages 205-210
Published in print March 1997 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online March 1997 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/17.3.205
Structural variation in current-year shoots of broad-leaved evergreen tree saplings under forest canopies in warm temperate Japan

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Stem length and leaf area of current-year shoots were measured in saplings of eight broad-leaved evergreen tree species growing under a forest canopy. Stem length varied over a range of one to two orders of magnitude within each species. In all species, both the number of leaves and the mean stem length between successive leaves were greater in longer shoots. Mean leaf size and stem length were not correlated in six of eight species, and only weakly positively correlated in the other two species. Thus, total leaf area per stem increased with stem length, but not in direct proportion: leaf area per stem length was smaller in shoots with long stems and larger in shoots with short stems. I conclude that the within-species variation in the leaf-stem balance of current-year shoots is related to variation in shoot functional roles, as has been observed for long and short shoots in many deciduous tree species: shoots with long stems are extension oriented and contribute to the framework of the crown, whereas shoots with short stems serve mainly for leaf display. Among species, large differences were found in the leaf area per stem length ratio. In the species with larger leaf area per stem length ratios, leaves had narrower blades or longer petioles, or both, resulting in a reduction of mutual shading among the leaves on the shoot.

Keywords: leaf area; shoot function; shoot structure; stem length; tree architecture

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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