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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Wind on the Relation of Leaf N, P Stoichiometry with Leaf Morphology in Quercus Species

1
East China Coastal Forest Ecosystem Long-Term Research Station, Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Hangzhou 311400, China
2
Dongtai Forest Center, Dongtai 224200, China
3
Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0317, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030110
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) stoichiometry correlates closely to leaf morphology, which is strongly impacted by wind at multiple scales. However, it is not clear how leaf N, P stoichiometry and its relationship to leaf morphology changes with wind load. We determined the leaf N and P concentrations and leaf morphology—including specific leaf area (SLA) and leaf dissection index (LDI)—for eight Quercus species under a simulated wind load for seven months. Leaf N and P concentrations increased significantly under these conditions for Quercus acutissima, Quercus rubra, Quercus texana, and Quercus palustris—which have elliptic leaves—due to their higher N, P requirements and a resultant leaf biomass decrease, which is a tolerance strategy for Quercus species under a wind load. Leaf N:P was relatively stable under wind for all species, which supports stoichiometric homeostasis. Leaf N concentrations showed a positive correlation to SLA, leaf N and P concentrations showed positive correlations to LDI under each wind treatment, and the slope of correlations was not affected by wind, which indicates synchronous variations between leaf stoichiometry and leaf morphology under wind. However, the intercept of correlations was affected by wind, and leaf N and P use efficiency decreased under the wind load, which suggests that the Quercus species changes from “fast investment-return” in the control to “slow investment-return” under windy conditions. These results will be valuable to understanding functional strategies for plants under varying wind loads, especially synchronous variations in leaf traits along a wind gradient. View Full-Text
Keywords: leaf N; P stoichiometry; leaf morphology; synchronous variations; wind load; Quercus species leaf N; P stoichiometry; leaf morphology; synchronous variations; wind load; Quercus species
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, P.; Wang, H.; Wu, Q.; Yu, M.; Wu, T. Effect of Wind on the Relation of Leaf N, P Stoichiometry with Leaf Morphology in Quercus Species. Forests 2018, 9, 110.

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