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Direct and indirect relationships between specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen and leaf gas exchange. Effects of irradiance and nutrient supply



Direct and indirect relationships between specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen and leaf gas exchange. Effects of irradiance and nutrient supply



Annals of Botany 88(5): 915-927



We present a series of competing path models relating interspecific patterns between specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen content, net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance and test these against data from 22 species of herbaceous plants grown under controlled conditions with contrasting irradiance and nutrient supply rates. We then compare these results with two previous data sets, one based on field measures and one based on glasshouse measures, to determine the robustness of the results. Only one model was able to account for the patterns of direct and indirect effects between the four variables to all data sets. In this model specific leaf area is the forcing variable that directly affects both leaf nitrogen levels and net photosynthetic rates. Leaf nitrogen then directly affects net photosynthetic rates which in turn then affect stomatal conductance to water. Copyright 2001 Annals of Botany Company.

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Accession: 003407845

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DOI: 10.1006/anbo.2001.1536


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