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Tree Physiol. 1993 Jun;12(4):327-45.

Canopy dynamics and aboveground production of five tree species with different leaf longevities.

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  • 1Department of Forestry, 1630 Linden Drive, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Canopy dynamics and aboveground net primary production (ANPP) were studied in replicated monospecific and dual-species plantations comprised of species with different leaf longevities. In the monospecific plantations, leaf longevity averaged 5, 6, 36, 46 and 66 months for Quercus rubra L., Larix decidua Miller, Pinus strobus L., Pinus resinosa Ait. and Picea abies (L.) Karst., respectively. Specific leaf area, maximum net photosynthesis per unit mass (A/mass), leaf N per unit mass (N(leaf)/mass) and maximum net photosynthesis on a leaf N basis (A/N(leaf)) were inversely correlated to leaf longevity (r(2) = 0.92-0.97, 0.91, 0.88 and 0.80, respectively). Maximum net photosynthesis per unit area (A/area) was not correlated to leaf longevity, whereas leaf N per unit area (N(leaf)/area) was positively correlated to leaf longevity (r(2) = 0.95). For a similar-diameter conifer, species with long-lived foliage supported a greater foliage mass than species with short-lived foliage; however, Quercus rubra did not follow this pattern. At the stand level, total foliage mass ranged from 3.3 to 30.5 Mg ha(-1) and was positively correlated (r(2) = 0.97) to leaf longevity. Leaf area index (LAI) was also positively correlated (r(2) = 0.82) to leaf longevity. Production efficiency (ANPP/LAI) was inversely related to leaf longevity and positively related to A/mass. Aboveground biomass and net primary production differed significantly (P < 0.05) among the five species but were not correlated to leaf longevity, total foliage mass or leaf area. In monospecific plantations, stem NPP for Larix decidua was 17% greater than for Pinus strobus and 14% less than for Picea abies, but in mixed-species plantations stem NPP for Larix decidua was 62 and 85% greater than for Pinus strobus and Picea abies, respectively. Similar aboveground net primary production rates can be attained by tree species with different leaf longevities because of trade-offs resulting from different structural and physiological leaf and canopy characteristics that are correlated to each other and to leaf longevity.

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