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Science. 2002 Feb 22;295(5559):1517-20.

Global allocation rules for patterns of biomass partitioning in seed plants.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 87519, USA.


A general allometric model has been derived to predict intraspecific and interspecific scaling relationships among seed plant leaf, stem, and root biomass. Analysis of a large compendium of standing organ biomass sampled across a broad sampling of taxa inhabiting diverse ecological habitats supports the relations predicted by the model and defines the boundary conditions for above- and below-ground biomass partitioning. These canonical biomass relations are insensitive to phyletic affiliation (conifers versus angiosperms) and variation in averaged local environmental conditions. The model thus identifies and defines the limits that have guided the diversification of seed plant biomass allocation strategies.

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