Chin Bull Bot ›› 2015, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (2): 234-240.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1259.2015.00234

• EXPERIMENTAL COMMUNICATIONS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Relationship Between Leaf Mass and Leafing Intensity for 48 Tree Species in the Temperate Mountain Forests in China

Changzhu Liu1, 2, Qiang Guo3, Xiulian Chi3, *   

  1. 1Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2014-03-20 Accepted:2014-11-17 Online:2015-04-10 Published:2015-03-01
  • Contact: Chi Xiulian
  • About author:

    ? These authors contributed equally to this paper


Leaves are the main photosynthetic organs of plant. The trade-off between leaf mass and leafing intensity reflects an important adaptive strategy of the plant to the environment. Studies of the mechanisms of such a trade-off under global climate-change scenarios will help in better understanding the responses of plants to environmental fluctuations. In this study, we used the standardized major axis estimation method to examine the relationship between leaf mass and leafing intensity within current-year twigs from 48 tree species sampled from 4 mountains in temperate regions of China. The trade-off between leaf mass and leafing intensity was allometric for all twigs and those from a deciduous broadleaf forest, simple broadleaf species and understorey broadleaf species but isometric for twigs from coniferous and mixed coniferous broadleaf forests, evergreen and deciduous broadleaf species, compound broadleaf species and canopy broadleaf species. Thus, the trade-off between leaf size and leafing intensity is not ubiquitous for species of different leaf forms and life forms, canopy status, or species from different forest types.

Table 1

Description of sampling site"

Site Latitude Longitude Altitude (m) Forest type Number of species
Fenglin 48°07'20"N 129°11'25″E 330-370 Mixed Pinus koraiensis and deciduous broadleaf forest 8
Mt. Changbai 42°24'33" N 128°05'15″E 750-790 Mixed P. koraiensis and deciduous broadleaf forest 14
Mt. Dongling 39°57′26″N 115°25′29″E 1 200-1 260 Quercus wutaishanica forest 6
Mt. Dongling 39°57′06″N 115°25′39″E 1 300-1 360 Betula platyphylla forest 4
Mt. Taibai 34°04'17″N 107°41'37″E 1 600-1 700 Q. aliena var. acuteserrata forest 14
Mt. Taibai 34°03'18″N 107°41'55″E 2 140-3 140 Q. wutaishanica forest 13
Mt. Taibai 34°01'10″N 107°48'52″E 2 810-3 000 Abies fargesii forest 5
Mt. Taibai 34°00'02″N 107°48'30″E 3 100-3 270 Larix gmelinii forest 1

Figure 1

Relationships between leaf mass and leafing intensity for 48 tree species in China’s temperate forests"

Table 2

Relationships between leaf mass and leafing intensity for different species groups in China’s temperate forests"

Groups Species groups Number of
Slope 95% confidence interval R2
All All species 918/48 -1.06 -1.07- -1.05 0.98
Forest type Deciduous coniferous forest 15/1 -1.05ab -1.49- -0.74 0.64
Evergreen coniferous forest 74/3 -1.02ab -1.04- -0.99 0.99
Coniferous and broadleaf forest 262/17 -0.99a -1.01- -0.97 0.98
Deciduous broadleaf forest 567/26 -1.02b -1.03- -1.01 0.98
Life form
Evergreen conifers 45/2 -1.00a -1.12- -0.89 0.86
Deciduous conifers 15/1 -1.05a -1.49- -0.74 0.64
Evergreen broadleaf species 30/2 -1.05a -1.11- -1.01 0.98
Deciduous broadleaf species 828/43 -1.03a -1.04- -1.02 0.98
Leaf form Simple broadleaf species 712/37 -1.05b -1.07- -1.04 0.96
Compound broadleaf species 146/8 -0.99a -1.01- -0.97 0.99
Canopy status Canopy broadleaf species 468/25 -1.00a -1.01- -0.98 0.99
Understorey broadleaf species 390/2 -1.10b -1.12- -1.07 0.95
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