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Forests 2017, 8(6), 202; doi:10.3390/f8060202

Coordination and Determinants of Leaf Community Economics Spectrum for Canopy Trees and Shrubs in a Temperate Forest in Northeastern China

Center for Ecological Research, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150030, China
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Academic Editor: Christopher  Gough
Received: 15 April 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Successional Dynamics of Forest Structure and Function)
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Abstract

Upscaling the leaf economics spectrum (LES) from the species level to community level is an important step to understand how assemblages are constructed based on functional traits and how these coordinated traits for a community respond to the environmental gradients and climate change. In a 9-ha temperate forest dynamics plot located in northeastern China, we collected four LES traits and three other leaf traits from 28 tree species and 13 shrub species. We then related the LES traits at the community level to topographical and soil factors. We observed that the coordination of LES at the community level was stronger than at the species level. Soil nutrients were the primary drivers of distribution of leaf community economics spectrum with acquisition strategy communities in the resource-rich locations. We also observed that different environmental factors affected the distributions of leaf community economics spectrums for trees and shrubs. Our results provided novel evidence for the existence of leaf community economics spectrum in the continental monsoon climate zone. Both abiotic filtering and niche differentiation determined their distributions across different growth forms at the local spatial scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic filtering; functional traits; leaf economics spectrum; niche differentiation; species and community levels; soil nutrients abiotic filtering; functional traits; leaf economics spectrum; niche differentiation; species and community levels; soil nutrients
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, F.; Xun, Y.; Cai, H.; Jin, G. Coordination and Determinants of Leaf Community Economics Spectrum for Canopy Trees and Shrubs in a Temperate Forest in Northeastern China. Forests 2017, 8, 202.

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