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Data from: Evolution of nutrient resorption across the herbaceous genus Helianthus

Cite this dataset

Rea, Ashley M.; Mason, Chase. M.; Donovan, Lisa A. (2019). Data from: Evolution of nutrient resorption across the herbaceous genus Helianthus [Dataset]. Dryad.


Foliar nutrient resorption is a key modulator of plant nutrient use. However, evolutionary patterns for nutrient resorption remain unclear, especially in herbs. We measured nitrogen and phosphorus resorption on pre-selected leaves across the Helianthus (sunflower) genus in a common garden in Athens, GA. We analyzed our data with published leaf traits and native habitat environmental data. Using phylogenetically-controlled analyses, we tested if (1) nutrient resorption correlates with leaf economic, vasculature, and defense traits through evolutionary time, and 2) native habitat environment predicts nutrient resorption evolution. For Helianthus, nutrient resorption capacity is greater in resource-conservative species, as previously defined for Helianthus with a principle components analysis of leaf economic spectrum traits (photosynthetic rate, respiration rate, leaf lifespan, leaf mass per area, and green-leaf N and P concentration). Nutrient resorption capacity also evolutionarily correlates with individual leaf economic traits, though not always as expected based on broad species surveys. Greater nutrient resorption is also positively associated with leaf chemical defenses, but not leaf vasculature or senescence rate. Finally, nitrogen resorption evolution increases with native habitat precipitation, but native habitat soil fertility does not predict nitrogen or phosphorus resorption. Our results suggest nutrient resorption evolution is more closely tied to resource economic strategy than native habitat.

Usage notes


National Science Foundation, Award: 1444522


United States