Data from: Leaf photosynthetic, economics and hydraulic traits are decoupled among genotypes of a widespread species of eucalypt grown under ambient and elevated CO2
Blackman, Chris J. et al. (2017), Data from: Leaf photosynthetic, economics and hydraulic traits are decoupled among genotypes of a widespread species of eucalypt grown under ambient and elevated CO2, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5tm76
Leaf economics and hydraulic traits strongly influence photosynthesis. While the level of coordination among these traits can differ between sets of species, leaf functional trait coordination within species remains poorly understood. Furthermore, elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 commonly influence the expression of leaf photosynthetic, economics and hydraulic traits in contrasting ways, yet the effect of variable concentrations of atmospheric CO2 on patterns of trait coordination within species remains largely untested.
We examined the relationships among key leaf photosynthetic (e.g. net photosynthesis and photosynthetic biochemistry), economics and water-use (e.g. leaf mass per unit area and stomatal conductance) and hydraulic traits (e.g. vein density) in 14 genotypes of Eucalyptus camaldulensis grown in ambient (aCO2) and elevated (eCO2) [CO2]. We examined the level of coordination among leaf traits in aCO2 and then assessed whether growth in eCO2 altered that coordination.
We found that leaf traits related to photosynthetic capacity, economics and water-use, and hydraulics were decoupled among genotypes grown in aCO2, yet strong relationships were generally observed among suites of traits within each ‘functional group’.
Significant responses to growth in eCO2 were observed for most leaf photosynthetic and economics and water-use traits, with the magnitude and direction of the response varying among traits. In contrast, leaf hydraulics traits were unaffected by variable growth CO2. Despite this, growth in eCO2 did not substantially alter patterns of leaf trait coordination observed in aCO2.
These results suggest suites of leaf traits associated with photosynthetic capacity, economics and water-use and hydraulics, respectively, can form independent axes of variation among genotypes of a single species, regardless of growth CO2. Although growth in eCO2 did not substantially alter patterns of trait coordination, decoupling of leaf functional traits among genotypes may allow genetically distinct populations to produce novel combinations of traits that may be adaptive in response to changes in their local environment.