Effects of relative shoot height and irradiance on shoot and leaf properties of Quercus serrata Thunb. saplings growing in the understory and in gaps were investigated. Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) at the location of the shoot relative to that in the open (relative PPF; rPPF) and the height of the shoot base relative to tree height (relative height; rHeight) were measured for all current-year shoots of each sapling. Current-year shoot properties (length, leaf area, number of daughter shoots) and mortality, and leaf properties (mass per area (LMA) and nitrogen content per area (Narea)) were examined in relation to rPPF and rHeight. Narea was used as a proxy for area-based assimilative capacity. Shoot length, leaf area per shoot and number of daughter shoots increased with increasing rHeight, especially in well-lit conditions. Shoot mortality decreased with increasing rHeight and rPPF. Both LMA and Narea were positively correlated with rPPF, but not rHeight.
Keywords: daughter shoot; leaf mass per area; leaf nitrogen; shoot growth; shoot mortality
Journal Article. 0 words.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry
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