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Data from: Contrasting leaf trait responses of conifer and broadleaved seedlings to altered resource availability are linked to resource strategies

Citation

Moser, Barbara et al. (2020), Data from: Contrasting leaf trait responses of conifer and broadleaved seedlings to altered resource availability are linked to resource strategies, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.zkh189376

Abstract

(1) Understanding tree seedling responses to water, nutrient and light availability is crucial to precisely predict potential shifts in composition and structure of forest communities under future climatic conditions.

(2) We exposed seedlings of widespread central European tree species with contrasting leaf habit, deciduous broadleaves (DB) and evergreen conifers (EC), to factorial combinations of manipulated precipitation (100% and 50% of ambient), shade (40% and 60% of full sunlight) and nutrient availability (low and high NPK), and measured specific leaf area, C/N ratio, soluble sugars, starch and non-structural carbohydrate concentration, and δ13C of the leaves.

(3) We found contrasting effects of water and nutrient availability on foliar traits of the two species groups: EC exhibited higher tolerance to low resource availability but also less plasticity in foliar traits, which is congruent with a "slow" resource strategy. In contrast, foliage of DB reacted particularly to altered nutrient availability, corresponding to a "fast" resource strategy with high foliar plasticity and rapid adjustments to resource fluctuations, commonly adopted by species with high growth rates.

(4) We conclude that DB will respond to environmental change with foliar acclimation, while EC will either tolerate, to some extent, or shift their distribution range in response to environmental change.

Methods

See Zhang et al. 2020, https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9050621

Usage Notes

This file contains measurements of leaf traits of single tree seedlings and traits derived from measured data as described in the publication and the ReadMe file.

Funding

Swiss Federal Office of the Environment, Award: 2016.6

China Scholarship Council, Award: CSC201803270019

Swiss Federal Office of the Environment, Award: 2016.6