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Data from: Is there coordination of leaf and fine root traits at local scales? a test in temperate forest swamps

Citation

Hu, Yu-Kun et al. (2019), Data from: Is there coordination of leaf and fine root traits at local scales? a test in temperate forest swamps, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6cn55fb

Abstract

Examining the coordination of leaf and fine root traits not only aids a better understanding of plant ecological strategies from a whole-plant perspective, but also helps improve the prediction of belowground properties from aboveground traits. The relationships between leaf and fine root traits have been extensively explored at global and regional scales, but remain unclear at local scales. Here, we measured six pairs of analogous leaf and fine root traits related to resource economy and organ size for coexisting dominant and subordinate vascular plants at three successional stages of temperate forest swamps in Lingfeng National Nature Reserve in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, NE China. Leaf and fine root traits related with resource acquisition (e.g. specific leaf area [SLA], leaf N, leaf P, root water content and root P) decreased with succession. Overall, we found strong linear relationships between leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and root water content, and between leaf and root C, N and P concentrations, but only weak correlations were observed between leaf area and root diameter, and between SLA and specific root length (SRL). The strong relationships between LDMC and root water content and between leaf and root C, N and P held at the early and late stages, but disappeared at the middle stage. Besides, C and P of leaves were significantly correlated with those of roots for woody plants, while strong linkages existed between LDMC and root water content and between leaf N and root N for herbaceous species. These results provided evidence for the existence of strong coordination between leaf and root traits at the local scale. Meanwhile, the leaf-root trait relationships could be modulated by successional stage and growth form, indicating the complexity of coordination of aboveground and belowground traits at the local scale.

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