Leaf Area (leaf + area)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Leaf Area

  • individual leaf area
  • specific leaf area
  • total leaf area
  • unit leaf area

  • Terms modified by Leaf Area

  • leaf area basis
  • leaf area expansion
  • leaf area index
  • leaf area ratio

  • Selected Abstracts


    The application of ethephon (an ethylene releaser) increases growth, photosynthesis and nitrogen accumulation in mustard (Brassica juncea L.) under high nitrogen levels

    PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 5 2008
    N. A. Khan
    Abstract Ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid), an ethylene-releasing compound, influences growth and photosynthesis of mustard (Brassica juncea L. Czern & Coss.). We show the effect of nitrogen availability on ethylene evolution and how this affects growth, photosynthesis and nitrogen accumulation. Ethylene evolution in the control with low N (100 mg N kg,1 soil) was two-times higher than with high N (200 mg N kg,1 soil). The application of 100,400 ,l·l,1 ethephon post-flowering, i.e. 60 days after sowing, on plants receiving low or high N further increased ethylene evolution. Leaf area, relative growth rate (RGR), photosynthesis, leaf nitrate reductase (NR) activity and leaf N reached a maximum with application of 200 ,l·l,1 ethephon and high N. The results suggest that the application of ethephon influences growth, photosynthesis and N accumulation, depending on the amount of nitrogen in the soil. [source]


    Hydraulic properties and freezing-induced cavitation in sympatric evergreen and deciduous oaks with contrasting habitats

    PLANT CELL & ENVIRONMENT, Issue 12 2001
    J. Cavender-Bares
    Abstract We investigated the hydraulic properties in relation to soil moisture, leaf habit, and phylogenetic lineage of 17 species of oaks (Quercus) that occur sympatrically in northern central Florida (USA). Leaf area per shoot increased and Huber values (ratio of sapwood area to leaf area) decreased with increasing soil moisture of species' habitats. As a result, maximum hydraulic conductance and maximum transpiration were positively correlated with mean soil moisture when calculated on a sapwood area basis, but not when calculated on a leaf area basis. This reveals the important role that changes in allometry among closely related species can play in co-ordinating water transport capacity with soil water availability. There were significant differences in specific conductivity between species, but these differences were not explained by leaf habit or by evolutionary lineage. However, white oaks had significantly smaller average vessel diameters than red oaks or live oaks. Due to their lower Huber values, maximum leaf specific conductivity (KL) was higher in evergreen species than in deciduous species and higher in live oaks than in red oaks or white oaks. There were large differences between species and between evolutionary lineages in freeze,thaw-induced embolism. Deciduous species, on average, showed greater vulnerability to freezing than evergreen species. This result is strongly influenced by evolutionary lineage. Specifically, white oaks, which are all deciduous, had significantly higher vulnerability to freezing than live oaks (all evergreen) and red oaks, which include both evergreen and deciduous species. These results highlight the importance of taking evolutionary lineage into account in comparative physiological studies. [source]


    Scale-dependent trait correlations in a temperate tree community

    AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2009
    K. C. BURNS
    Abstract Recent investigations of relationships among plant traits have generated important insights into plant form and function. However, relationships involving leaf area, leaf shape and plant height remain poorly resolved. Previous work has also focused on correlations between average trait values for individual species. It is unclear whether similar relationships occur within species. We searched for novel plant trait correlations by comparing leaf area, leaf circularity, specific leaf area (SLA) and plant height among 16 common woody plant species from a temperate forest in New Zealand. Analyses were conducted both within species (intra-specifically) and among species (inter-specifically) to determine whether trait correlations were scale dependent. Leaf area was unrelated to other leaf traits inter-specifically. However, leaf area declined with plant height and increased with SLA intra-specifically. Leaf circularity decreased with plant height inter-specifically, but increased with plant height intra-specifically. SLA increased with plant height both inter- and intra-specifically. Leaf circularity increased with SLA inter-specifically, but decreased with SLA intra-specifically. Overall results showed that leaf shape, SLA and plant height are interrelated. However, intra-specific relationships often differed substantially from inter-specific relationships, suggesting that the processes shaping relationships between this suite of plant traits are scale-dependent. [source]


    Water use characteristics of cacao and Gliricidia trees in an agroforest in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

    ECOHYDROLOGY, Issue 4 2009
    Michael Köhler
    Abstract Water use characteristics of cacao (Theobroma cacao) and Gliricidia sepium shade trees were studied in an agroforest on Sulawesi, Indonesia. The objectives were: (1) to identify environmental and tree structural factors controlling water use, (2) to analyse the effect of shade tree cover on cacao water use and (3) to estimate stand level transpiration. Sap flux density was measured in up to 18 trees per species and described with a Jarvis-type model. Model parameters suggested a 49% higher maximum sap flux density in cacao than in Gliricidia and species differences in the response to vapour pressure deficit and radiation. Tree water use was positively related to tree diameter in both species, but this relationship tended to differ between species. In cacao trees maximal tree water use increased with decreasing canopy gap fraction above the trees (R2adj = 0·39, p = 0·04). This was paralleled by an increase of cacao stem diameter and leaf area with decreasing gap fraction. Maximum water use rate per unit crown area of cacao was 13% higher than that of Gliricidia. At the stand level the average transpiration rate was estimated at 1·5 mm day,1 per unit ground area, 70% of which was contributed to by cacao. We conclude that, in the given stand, species differed substantially in water use characteristics, while estimated stand transpiration is in line with findings from other studies for cacao stands. Shade trees may enhance stand transpiration through own water use and additionally by increasing water use rates of cacao trees. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    Transpiration and stomatal conductance across a steep climate gradient in the southern Rocky Mountains

    ECOHYDROLOGY, Issue 3 2008
    Nate G. McDowell
    Abstract Transpiration (E) is regulated over short time periods by stomatal conductance (Gs) and over multi-year periods by tree- and stand-structural factors such as leaf area, height and density, with upper limits ultimately set by climate. We tested the hypothesis that tree structure, stand structure and Gs together regulate E per ground area (Eg) within climatic limits using three sites located across a steep climatic gradient: a low-elevation Juniperus woodland, a mid-elevation Pinus forest and a high-elevation Picea forest. We measured leaf area : sapwood area ratio (Al : As), height and ecosystem sapwood area : ground area ratio (As : Ag) to assess long-term structural adjustments, tree-ring carbon isotope ratios (,13C) to assess seasonal gas exchange, and whole-tree E and Gs to assess short-term regulation. We used a hydraulic model based on Darcy's law to interpret the interactive regulation of Gs and Eg. Common allometric dependencies were found only in the relationship of sapwood area to diameter for pine and spruce; there were strong site differences for allometric relationships of sapwood area to basal area, Al : As and As : Ag. On a sapwood area basis, E decreased with increasing elevation, but this pattern was reversed when E was scaled to the crown using Al : As. Eg was controlled largely by As : Ag, and both Eg and Gs declined from high- to low-elevation sites. Observation-model comparisons of Eg, Gs and ,13C were strongest using the hydraulic model parameterized with precipitation, vapour pressure deficit, Al : As, height, and As : Ag, supporting the concept that climate, Gs, tree- and stand-structure interact to regulate Eg. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    Trophic control of grassland production and biomass by pathogens

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 2 2003
    Charles E. Mitchell
    Abstract Current theories of trophic regulation of ecosystem net primary production and plant biomass incorporate herbivores, but not plant pathogens. Obstacles to the incorporation of pathogens include a lack of data on pathogen effects on primary production, especially outside agricultural and forest ecosystems, and an apparent inability to quantify pathogen biomass. Here, I report the results of an experiment factorially excluding foliar fungal pathogens and insect herbivores from an intact grassland ecosystem. At peak in control plots, 8.9% of community leaf area was infected by pathogens. Disease reduction treatment dramatically increased root production and biomass by increasing leaf longevity and photosynthetic capacity. In contrast, herbivory reduction had no detectable effects at the ecosystem or leaf scale. Additionally, biomass of foliar fungal pathogens in the ecosystem was comparable with that of insect herbivores. These results identify pathogens as potential regulators of ecosystem processes and promote the incorporation of pathogens into trophic theory. [source]


    Nitrogen fertilization effects on Myzus persicae aphid dynamics on peach: vegetative growth allocation or chemical defence?

    ENTOMOLOGIA EXPERIMENTALIS ET APPLICATA, Issue 2 2010
    Marie-Hélčne Sauge
    Abstract Plant nitrogen (N) fertilization is a common cropping practice that is expected to serve as a pest management tool. Its effects on the dynamics of the aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) were examined on young peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae)] trees grown under five N treatments, ranging from N shortage to supra-optimal supply for growth. Aphid population increased over time at the three intermediate N levels. It remained stable at the lowest N level and decreased at the highest N level. Four weeks after the start of infestation, the number of aphids displayed a parabolic response to N level. The relationships between N status and parameters of plant vegetative growth (stem diameter) or biomass allocation (lateral-total leaf area and root-shoot ratio) were consistent with responses proposed by models of adaptive plasticity in resource allocation patterns. However, the variation in plant growth predicted aphid population dynamics only partially. Whereas aphid number was positively correlated with plant N status and vegetative growth up to the intermediate N level, it was negatively correlated with plant N status above this level, but not with vegetative growth. The concentrations of primary and secondary (plant defence-related) metabolites in the plant shoots were modified by N treatments: amino acids (main nutritional resource of aphids) and prunasin increased, whereas chlorogenic acid decreased with increasing N availability. Constitutive changes in plant chemistry in response to N fertilization could not directly explain the reduced aphid performance for the highest N level. Nevertheless, the indirect effect of N on the induction of plant defence compounds by aphid feeding warrants further investigation. The study focuses on the feasibility of handling N fertilization to control M. persicae in orchards, but findings may also be relevant for our understanding of the physiological relationships between the host's nutritional status and the requirements of the insect. [source]


    Uptake and translocation of p,p,-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene supplied in hydroponics solution to Cucurbita

    ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY & CHEMISTRY, Issue 12 2007
    Martin P. N. Gent
    Abstract Field studies show shoots of zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) accumulate various hydrophobic contaminants from soil, although many other plants do not, including cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). To investigate the mechanism for this uptake, we presented p,p,-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) to these two species in hydroponics solution. A mixture of DDE bound to TenaxÔ beads stirred with a solution of water passing through a reservoir provided a flowing solution containing DDE at approximately 2 ,g/L for many weeks duration. Approximately 90% of the DDE supplied in solution was adsorbed on the roots of both cucumber and zucchini. Less than 10% of the sorbed DDE was released subsequently when clean solution flowed past these contaminated roots for 9 d. The shoots of both species accumulated DDE, but the fraction that moved from the roots to the shoot in zucchini, ranging from 6 to 27% in various trials, was 10-fold greater than that in cucumber, 0.7 to 2%. The gradient in DDE concentration in zucchini tissues was in the order root > stem > petiole > leaf blade, indicating the movement was through the xylem in the transpiration stream. Some DDE in leaf blades might have been absorbed from the air, because the concentration in this tissue varied less with time, position in trough, or species, than did DDE in stems and petioles. The remarkable ability of zucchini to translocate DDE could not be attributed to differences in tissue composition, growth rate, distribution of weight among plant parts, or in the leaf area and rate of transpiration of water from leaves. Some other factor enables efficient translocation of hydrophobic organic contaminants in the xylem of zucchini. [source]


    A dynamic simulation model for powdery mildew epidemics on winter wheat,

    EPPO BULLETIN, Issue 3 2003
    V. Rossi
    A system dynamic model for epidemics of Blumeria graminis (powdery mildew) on wheat was elaborated, based on the interaction between stages of the disease cycle, weather conditions and host characteristics. The model simulates the progress of disease severity, expressed as a percentage of powdered leaf area, on individual leaves, with a time step of one day, as a result of two processes: the growth of fungal colonies already present on the leaves and the appearance of new colonies. By means of mathematical equations, air temperature, vapour pressure deficit, rainfall and wind are used to calculate incubation, latency and sporulation periods, the growth of pathogen colonies, infection and spore survival. Effects of host susceptibility to infection, and of leaf position within the plant canopy, are also included. Model validation was carried out by comparing model outputs with the dynamics of epidemics observed on winter wheat grown at several locations in northern Italy (1991,98). Simulations were performed using meteorological data measured in standard meteorological stations. As there was good agreement between model outputs and actual disease severity, the model can be considered a satisfactory simulator of the effect of environmental conditions on the progress of powdery mildew epidemics. [source]


    CONTRASTING PLANT PHYSIOLOGICAL ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE IN THE NATIVE AND INTRODUCED RANGE OF HYPERICUM PERFORATUM

    EVOLUTION, Issue 8 2007
    John L. Maron
    How introduced plants, which may be locally adapted to specific climatic conditions in their native range, cope with the new abiotic conditions that they encounter as exotics is not well understood. In particular, it is unclear what role plasticity versus adaptive evolution plays in enabling exotics to persist under new environmental circumstances in the introduced range. We determined the extent to which native and introduced populations of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) are genetically differentiated with respect to leaf-level morphological and physiological traits that allow plants to tolerate different climatic conditions. In common gardens in Washington and Spain, and in a greenhouse, we examined clinal variation in percent leaf nitrogen and carbon, leaf ,13C values (as an integrative measure of water use efficiency), specific leaf area (SLA), root and shoot biomass, root/shoot ratio, total leaf area, and leaf area ratio (LAR). As well, we determined whether native European H. perforatum experienced directional selection on leaf-level traits in the introduced range and we compared, across gardens, levels of plasticity in these traits. In field gardens in both Washington and Spain, native populations formed latitudinal clines in percent leaf N. In the greenhouse, native populations formed latitudinal clines in root and shoot biomass and total leaf area, and in the Washington garden only, native populations also exhibited latitudinal clines in percent leaf C and leaf ,13C. Traits that failed to show consistent latitudinal clines instead exhibited significant phenotypic plasticity. Introduced St. John's Wort populations also formed significant or marginally significant latitudinal clines in percent leaf N in Washington and Spain, percent leaf C in Washington, and in root biomass and total leaf area in the greenhouse. In the Washington common garden, there was strong directional selection among European populations for higher percent leaf N and leaf ,13C, but no selection on any other measured trait. The presence of convergent, genetically based latitudinal clines between native and introduced H. perforatum, together with previously published molecular data, suggest that native and exotic genotypes have independently adapted to a broad-scale variation in climate that varies with latitude. [source]


    A multi-trait test of the leaf-height-seed plant strategy scheme with 133 species from a pine forest flora

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2010
    Daniel C. Laughlin
    Summary 1.,Westoby's [Plant and Soil (1998), 199, 213] Leaf-Height-Seed (LHS) plant strategy scheme quantifies the strategy of a plant based on its location in a three-dimensional space defined by three functional traits: specific leaf area (SLA), height, and seed mass. This scheme is based on aboveground traits and may neglect strategies of belowground resource capture if root functioning is not mirrored in any of the axes. How then do fine roots fit into the LHS scheme? 2.,We measured 10 functional traits on 133 plant species in a ponderosa pine forest in northern Arizona, USA. This data set was used to evaluate how well the LHS scheme accounts for the variation in above and belowground traits. 3.,The three most important plant strategies were composed of multiple correlated traits, but SLA, seed mass, and height loaded on separate principle components. The first axis reflected the widely observed ,leaf economics spectrum'. Species at the high end of this spectrum had high SLA, high leaf and fine root nitrogen (N) concentration, and low leaf dry matter content. The second axis reflected variation in seed mass and fine root morphology. Plants at the positive end of this spectrum were plants with large seeds and low specific root length (SRL). The third axis reflected variation in height and phenology. Plants at the positive end of this spectrum were tall species that flower late in the growing season. 4.,Leaf N concentration was positively correlated with fine root N concentration. SRL was weakly positively correlated with SLA. SRL was not correlated with fine root N concentration. Leaf litter decomposition rate was positively correlated with the leaf economics spectrum and was negatively correlated with the height and phenology spectrum. 5.,Leaf traits, seed mass, and height appear to be integrating properties of species that reflect much of the variation in plant function, including root function. Fine root N concentration was positively mirrored by the leaf economics spectrum, and SRL was inversely mirrored by seed mass. The leaf and height axes play a role in controlling leaf litter decomposability, indicating that these strategy axes have important consequences for ecosystem functioning. [source]


    Stem hydraulics mediates leaf water status, carbon gain, nutrient use efficiencies and plant growth rates across dipterocarp species

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
    Jiao-Lin Zhang
    Summary 1Stem vascular system strongly influences structure and functioning of leaves, life-history, and distribution of plants. Xylem structure and hydraulic conductivity of branches, leaf functional traits, and growth rates in 17 dipterocarp species in a mature plantation stand were examined to explore the functional relationships between these traits. 2Maximum hydraulic conductivity on the bases of both sapwood and leaf area (kL) were positively correlated with midday leaf water potential in the rainy season, stomatal conductance, area-based maximum photosynthetic rate, photosynthetic N (PNUE) and P use efficiencies (PPUE), and mean height and diameter growth rates. Moreover, kL was positively correlated with mesophyll thickness and mass-based maximum photosynthetic rate. These results revealed the mechanistic linkage between stem hydraulics and leaf photosynthesis through nutrient use efficiency and mesophyll development of leaves. 3A detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) using 37 traits showed that the traits related to stem hydraulics and leaf carbon gain were loaded on the first axis whereas traits related to light harvesting were loaded on the second axis, indicating that light harvesting is a distinct ecological axis for tropical canopy plants. The DCA also revealed a trade-off between photosynthetic water use efficiency and hydraulic conductivity along with PNUE and PPUE. 4The congeneric species were scattered fairly close together on the DCA diagram, indicating that the linkages between stem hydraulics, leaf functional traits, and plant growth rates are phylogenetically conserved. 5These results suggest that stem hydraulics mediates leaf water status, carbon gain, nutrient use efficiencies, and growth rates across the dipterocarp species. The wide variation in functional traits and growth rates among these dipterocarp species along with the trade-offs mentioned above provide a possible explanation for their co-existence in tropical forest communities. [source]


    Environmental and developmental controls on specific leaf area are little modified by leaf allometry

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2008
    R. Milla
    Summary 1Recent work shows that large leaves tend to require higher biomass investments per unit leaf area than small leaves. As a consequence, specific leaf area (SLA), which is a focus trait for a bulk of physiological and ecological research programs, is dependent on leaf size variation. Here, we address whether size dependency alters the outcome of research dealing with SLA responses to environmental or developmental change. 2We compiled lamina mass (M) and surface area (A) data for 2158 leaves of 26 species, coming from studies investigating the reaction of SLA to variation in rainfall, growth,season length, light intensity, atmospheric CO2, fire frequency, type of branch and leaf and plant age. We fitted the function M = a Ab to the data of each experimental situation separately, and implemented a method to split SLA response as measured in the original study (SLADm) into response due to leaf size dependency (SLADa), and response due to treatment effects, after controlling for leaf size dependency (SLADt). 3The sign of the reaction did not differ between SLADm and SLADt. However, the magnitude of that response changed for most contrasts, though in variable ways. 4Conclusions of past experiments hold, for the most part, after re-analysis including size dependency. However, given the large heterogeneity found here, we advise that future work investigating SLA be prepared to account for leaf size dependency when the factors under focus are suspected to alter leaf size. [source]


    Carbon dioxide uptake, water relations and drought survival for Dudleya saxosa, the ,rock live-forever', growing in small soil volumes

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2007
    P. S. NOBEL
    Summary 1Although many plants grow in rock crevices and other regions of small soil volume, including over 20 000 epiphytic and hemi-epiphytic species, analyses of the actual soil volume occupied, the water availability in that soil, the water-storage capacity in the shoots and underground organs, and the photosynthetic pathway utilized have rarely been combined. 2Dudleya saxosa (M.F. Jones) Britton and Rose (Crassulaceae), growing in the Sonoran Desert, has very shallow roots that occupied soil volumes averaging only 43 × 10,6 m3 per medium-sized plant. This volume of soil can hold about the same amount of water (10 g) as can be stored in the leaves, corm and roots combined (11 g), but at a sufficiently high water potential for transfer to the plant for less than 1 week after a substantial rainfall. 3About 80% of the net carbon dioxide uptake by D. saxosa over a 24-h period occurred during the daytime (C3) under wet conditions, the daily total decreasing by 34% and the pattern shifting to nocturnal net CO2 uptake (CAM) after 46 days' drought. Seventy-seven days' drought eliminated its daily net CO2 uptake. 4Stomatal frequency was only 67 mm,2 on the adaxial (upper) surface and twofold lower on the abaxial surface. The cuticle was thick, 34 µm for the adaxial surface. Leaves had 24 mesophyll cell layers, leading to a high mesophyll cell surface area per unit leaf area of 142. 5The three leaf anatomical features plus utilization of CAM increased net CO2 uptake per unit of water transpired, and helped D. saxosa thrive in a small soil volume, with the underground corm being a major supplier of water to the succulent leaves during 2.5 months of drought. The maximum water-holding capacity of the soil explored by the roots closely matched the maximum water-holding capacity of the plant, reflecting the conservative strategy used by D. saxosa in a stressful semi-arid environment. [source]


    C3,C4 composition and prior carbon dioxide treatment regulate the response of grassland carbon and water fluxes to carbon dioxide

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2007
    H. W. POLLEY
    Summary 1Plants usually respond to carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment by increasing photosynthesis and reducing transpiration, but these initial responses to CO2 may not be sustained. 2During May, July and October 2000, we measured the effects of temporarily increasing or decreasing CO2 concentration by 150,200 µmol mol,1 on daytime net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and water flux (evapotranspiration, ET) of C3,C4 grassland in central Texas, USA that had been exposed for three growing seasons to a CO2 gradient from 200 to 560 µmol mol,1. Grassland grown at subambient CO2 (< 365 µmol mol,1) was exposed for 2 days to an elevated CO2 gradient (> 365 µmol mol,1). Grassland grown at elevated CO2 was exposed for 2 days to a subambient gradient. Our objective was to determine whether growth CO2 affected the amount by which grassland NEE and ET responded to CO2 switching (sensitivity to CO2). 3The NEE per unit of leaf area was greater (16,20%) and ET was smaller (9,20%), on average, at the higher CO2 concentration during CO2 switching in May and July. The amount by which NEE increased at the higher CO2 level was smaller at elevated than subambient growth concentrations on both dates, but relationships between NEE response and growth CO2 were weak. Conversely, the effect of temporary CO2 change on ET did not depend on growth CO2. 4The ratio of NEE at high CO2 to NEE at low CO2 during CO2 change in July increased from 1·0 to 1·26 as the contribution of C3 cover to total cover increased from 26% to 96%. Conversely, in May, temporary CO2 enrichment reduced ET more in C4 - than C3 -dominated grassland. 5For this mesic grassland, sensitivity of NEE and ET to brief change in CO2 depended as much on the C3,C4 composition of vegetation as on physiological adjustments related to prior CO2 exposure. [source]


    Ecotype adaptation and acclimation of leaf traits to rainfall in 29 species of 16-year-old Eucalyptus at two common gardens

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2006
    C. R. WARREN
    Summary 1Relationships of leaf traits with rainfall at the place of origin of seed (RPO) are a function of acclimation and adaptation. To disentangle these effects we studied 29 species of 16-year-old Eucalyptus at a productive and an unproductive common garden (mean annual increments of above-ground stem volume = 21 ± 11 and 8 ± 5 m3 ha,1 years,1, respectively). We tested three hypotheses: (i) leaf traits vary between sites, but relationships among them do not; (ii) relationships of leaf traits with RPO do not vary between sites; and (iii) ecotypes originating from low-rainfall areas allocate a small fraction of nitrogen to thylakoid proteins and Rubisco, and have small SLA, small and narrow leaves, and large water-use efficiency (WUE). 2Eleven leaf traits (leaf area, leaf thickness, leaf width/length, specific leaf area, fresh weight/dry weight, N, chlorophyll a/b, carotenoids/chlorophyll, thylakoid N%, Rubisco N%, WUE derived from 13C content) were measured in 1-year-old sun leaves. 3Site had a large effect on not only the absolute values of leaf traits, but also relationships between pairs of traits. There were 20 significant correlations between pairs of traits. Three of the correlations had different slopes between sites, while a further nine had different intercepts. Hence the majority of significant correlations were not independent of site. 4Leaf area and leaf width/length were the only traits related to RPO. There was no evidence that N allocation to Rubisco or thylakoid proteins was related to RPO, or that WUE was greater in ecotypes from dry areas. 5For Eucalyptus, and perhaps other genera, physiological leaf traits may play a minor role in adaptation to water availability. There is large phenotypic plasticity in many leaf traits affecting not only the absolute values of traits, but also relationships among them. [source]


    Allocation of above-ground growth is related to light in temperate deciduous saplings

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2003
    D. A. King
    Summary 1Allocational shifts in response to light may be an important factor in allowing plants to survive in shade, while increasing their extension rates and competitive ability in sun. To investigate this response, the allocation of above-ground growth between leaves, branches and stems was studied in saplings of Acer pensylvanicum L. and Castenea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh. in the Appalachian mountains of western Virginia, USA. Measurements of current leaf biomass, current and past year leaf numbers and the growth ring widths of branches and stem were used to estimate biomass partitioning for saplings growing in locations ranging from forest understorey to large openings. 2Both species showed higher leaf area per unit leaf biomass (SLA) and higher allocation of above-ground growth to leaves in shade than in sun. 3There were no differences between species in the slopes of the relationships of allocation and SLA vs estimated irradiance, but SLA was significantly greater in A. pensylvanicum than in C. dentata at a given light level. Hence, somewhat lower production per unit leaf area is required to maintain the canopy in A. pensylvanicum, consistent with foresters' ratings of greater shade tolerance for this species. 4Greater foliar allocation in shade than sun has also been observed in broad-leaved evergreen saplings, but generally not in seedlings. This difference is probably related to differences in size and age between seedlings and saplings. Young seedlings typically show exponential growth with no immediate foliar losses, while shaded saplings lie closer to the steady state where new leaves replace old ones with little additional stem growth. 5Thus trees shift their allocation patterns in an acclimatory fashion, depending on their size and light environment, with the costs of replacing senesced leaves becoming of consequence as juveniles age. [source]


    Do shade-tolerant tropical tree seedlings depend longer on seed reserves?

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2002
    Functional growth analysis of three Bignoniaceae species
    Summary 1.,A functional growth analysis was used to determine the duration of strict dependency on seed reserves for energy and nitrogen in three woody Bignoniaceae species (Tabebuia rosea DC., Challichlamys latifolia K. Schum. and Pithecoctenium crucigerum A. Gentry) which differed in cotyledon function (photosynthetic, semi-photosynthetic and storage) and shade tolerance (probability of seedling establishment and survival in the understorey). 2.,Seedlings were raised from seeds in sand culture under combinations of three nitrogen levels (daily supply of nutrient solution containing 100, 10 and 0% of 2·6 mm N) and two irradiances (27 and 1% full sun). Time course of biomass, non-cotyledonous biomass and leaf area for 40 days post-germination were compared to identify when the external availability of nitrogen or light began to affect seedling growth. 3.,Seedlings of all species became dependent on external energy supply earlier than they did on nitrogen supply. In all species seed nitrogen was sufficient to support positive seedling growth for 40 days in shade, but not in sun. 4.,Tabebuia rosea with photosynthetic cotyledons responded to light availability earlier than more shade-tolerant species with storage cotyledons. Challichlamys latifolia, the most shade-tolerant species, had the highest nitrogen concentration in seeds and was the last to respond to external nitrogen availability. Thus seedlings of the most shade-tolerant species depended on seed reserves for the longest period for both energy and nitrogen. 5.,Relative growth rate after seedlings initiated autotrophic growth was in a trade-off relationship with seedling survivorship in the understorey across the three species. Tabebuia rosea, the least shade-tolerant species, had the highest positive net carbon balance in sun and shade. 6.,Functional morphology of cotyledons and concentration of seed nitrogen deserve as much attention as seed size as correlates of contrasting seedling regeneration strategies. [source]


    Strategy shifts in leaf physiology, structure and nutrient content between species of high- and low-rainfall and high- and low-nutrient habitats

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2001
    I. J. Wright
    Summary 1,Relationships were examined among photosynthetic capacity (Amass and Aarea), foliar dark respiration rate (Rd-mass and Rd-area), stomatal conductance to water (Gs), specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) across 79 perennial species occurring at four sites with contrasting rainfall levels and soil nutrients in eastern Australia. We hypothesized that the slope of log,log ,scaling' relationships between these traits would be positive and would not differ between sites, although slope elevations might shift between habitat types. 2,Amass, Rd-mass, SLA, Nmass and Pmass were positively associated in common slopes fitted across sites or rainfall zones, although rather weakly within individual sites in some cases. The relationships between Amass (and Rd-mass) with each of Nmass and SLA were partially independent of each other, with Amass (or Rd-mass) increasing with SLA at a given Nmass, or with Nmass at a given SLA (only weakly in the case of Amass). These results improve the quantification and extend the generalization of reported patterns to floras largely unlike those studied previously, with the additional contribution of including phosphorus data. 3,Species from drier sites differed in several important respects. They had (i) higher leaf N and P (per dry mass or area); (ii) lower photosynthetic capacity at a given leaf N or P; (iii) higher Rd-mass at a given SLA or Amass; and (iv) lower Gs at a given Aarea (implying lower internal CO2 concentration). 4,These trends can be interpreted as part of a previously undocumented water conservation strategy in species from dry habitats. By investing heavily in photosynthetic enzymes, a larger drawdown of internal CO2 concentration is achieved, and a given photosynthetic rate is possible at a lower stomatal conductance. Transpirational water use is similar, however, due to the lower-humidity air in dry sites. The benefit of the strategy is that dry-site species reduce water loss at a given Aarea, down to levels similar to wet-site species, despite occurring in lower-humidity environments. The cost of high leaf N is reflected in higher dark respiration rates and, presumably, additional costs incurred by N acquisition and increased herbivory risk. [source]


    Competition for light and nitrogen among grassland species: a simulation analysis

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2001
    Schippers P.
    Abstract 1.,A plant competition model to analyse the competition among perennial grassland species was developed. It was used to find out whether complex perennial competition processes could be simulated accurately on the basis of ecophysiological principles; what crucial parameters and processes determine succession; and how spatial heterogeneity affects interspecies competition for light and nitrogen. 2.,Simulation results were compared with results of a 2-year replacement experiment involving Holcus lanatus, Anthoxanthum odoratum and Festuca ovina. Sensitivity analyses were performed to evaluate the importance of processes and parameters. 3.,The model's sensitivity to plant height, specific leaf area and turnover and the large interspecific differences indicated that these were key determinants of competition between species. Festuca's low shoot turnover enabled it to survive the winter better and gave it an advantage in spring; this resulted in an unexpected recovery after winter in the second year. 4.,Spatially explicit simulations showed that species patchiness reduced competitive asymmetry, especially under nutrient-poor conditions. 5.,The model's ability to simulate complex perennial competition processes as observed in the experiment indicates its potential for analysing vegetation processes related to succession. [source]


    Relative importance of microhabitat, plant form and photosynthetic physiology to carbon gain in two alpine herbs

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2001
    M. J. Germino
    Abstract 1.,The effects of microhabitat and plant form on sunlight interception, leaf temperatures, frost occurrence and photosynthesis were evaluated for Caltha leptosepala DC and Erythronium grandiflorum Pursh. Both plants are perennials that commonly emerge from alpine snowbanks where the combination of cool temperatures and strong sunlight is among the most extreme for vascular plants. 2., Caltha leptosepala occurred in microsites where colder air accumulates, and has larger, less inclined and more densely clustered leaves compared to E. grandiflorum (which has two steeply inclined leaves). 3.,These differences in microsite and plant form led to leaf temperatures below 0 °C on 70% of nights during the summer growth season in C. leptosepala, compared to only 38% in E. grandiflorum. Leaves of C. leptosepala warmed more slowly on mornings following frosts compared to E. grandiflorum, due to less aerodynamic coupling between leaf and air temperature, and also a 45% smaller ratio of sunlit to total leaf area due to mutual shading among leaves. 4.,As a result, night frost did not affect subsequent CO2 assimilation (A) in E. grandiflorum, while frostless nights and warmer mornings led to 35% greater A in C. leptosepala in the early morning. 5.,There were no appreciable differences in the temperature and light response of photosynthesis between the two species. The apparent quantum yield of A declined only ,8% in both species following frost and exposure to strong sunlight, indicating little adjustment of photosynthetic physiology. 6.,Greater daily carbon gain probably occurs for E. grandiflorum because of its plant form and microclimate, rather than differences in photosynthetic physiology. [source]


    Effect of drought on the growth of Lolium perenne genotypes with and without fungal endophytes

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2000
    G. P. Cheplick
    Abstract 1Grass leaves are often inhabited by fungal endophytes that can enhance host growth. In some forage species, endophytes improve host resistance to, and recovery from, drought. 2Our objective was to determine if the growth of genotypes of Lolium perenne L. was improved by endophytes during recovery from drought. 3Thirteen infected genotypes were cloned into ramets. Half were treated with a systemic fungicide to eliminate the endophyte (E,); half were untreated and retained high endophyte levels (E+). In a glasshouse, half of all E, and E+ ramets were watered regularly, whilst half were exposed to a 2 week drought on two occasions, each followed by a 3 week recovery period. 4After the first drought and recovery period, endophytes significantly reduced tiller production in the drought-stressed group. 5After the second drought and recovery period, effects of drought on live leaf area and dry mass were highly dependent on host genotype, but not endophytes. The mean tiller mass of E+ ramets after drought was significantly less than that of watered E+ ramets, but this was not true in E, ramets. For six genotypes there was greater mass allocation to storage in the tiller bases of E, ramets after drought. 6This perennial ryegrass population showed marked genotypic variation in the ability to recover from drought stress, but endophytes played little or no role in this ability. For some host genotypes there may be a metabolic cost of harbouring endophytes during environmentally stressful conditions. [source]


    Effects of defoliation on male and female reproductive traits of a perennial orchid, Dactylorhiza maculata

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2000
    Vallius E.
    Abstract 1The effects of defoliation on male reproductive traits of plants have received little attention. We conducted two field experiments with Dactylorhiza maculata (L.) Soó to examine the effects of defoliation on both male and female reproductive traits. We removed 0, 50 or 100% of leaves prior to flowering. The quality of pollen was tested by transferring pollen from the differently treated plants to untreated plants of the same population. 2The non-defoliated plants did not differ from the defoliated plants in mass of pollinia. No differences were found in the weight of seed capsules or in the proportion of embryonic seeds raised by flowers receiving pollen from differently treated pollen donors. 3The non-defoliated and partially defoliated plants produced relatively more and heavier capsules than the completely defoliated plants. 4Defoliation decreased leaf area, corm mass and the probability of flowering in the following year. 5These results demonstrate that defoliation has no acute effects on male traits in the long-living perennial orchid D. maculata. In this respect, D. maculata differs from the two other polycarpic species studied so far. Availability of resources appeared to be insufficient to prevent negative effects of defoliation on the later-occurring and more costly female functions. [source]


    Leaf-level resource use for evergreen and deciduous conifers along a resource availability gradient

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2000
    B. D. Kloeppel
    Abstract 1.,We compared leaf-level carbon, nitrogen and water use for a deciduous (Larix occidentalis Nutt.) and sympatric evergreen (Pseudotsuga menziesii, Beissn., Franco, or Pinus contorta Engelm.) conifer along a resource availability gradient spanning the natural range of L. occidentalis in western Montana, USA. 2.,We hypothesized that leaf photosynthesis (A), respiration (r), specific leaf area (SLA) and foliar nitrogen concentration (N) would be higher for deciduous than sympatric evergreen conifers in mixed stands, and that these interspecies differences would increase from high to low resource availability. We also hypothesized that leaf-level nitrogen and water-use efficiency would be higher for the co-occurring evergreen conifer than L. occidentalis. 3.,In general, mass-based photosynthesis (Am) was significantly higher for L. occidentalis than co-occurring evergreen conifers in the drier sites, but Am was similar for evergreen and deciduous conifers at the mesic site. 4.,Mass-based foliar nitrogen concentration (Nm) was positively correlated to SLA for all species combined across the gradient (R2 = 0·64), but the relationship was very weak (R2 = 0·08,0·34) for evergreen and deciduous species separately. Mass-based Am and rm were poorly correlated to Nm for all species combined across the gradient (R2 = 0·28 and 0·04, respectively). 5.,For each site-species combination, daily maximum Am was negatively correlated to vapour pressure deficit (VPD) (R2 = 0·36,0·59), but was poorly correlated to twig predawn water potential (R2 < 0·04). 6.,Instantaneous nitrogen-use efficiency (NUEi; Am divided by Nm) and water-use efficiency (,13C) increased significantly (P = 0·05) from high to low resource availability for both evergreen and deciduous conifers, except for NUEi in L. occidentalis. [source]


    Trade-offs in low-light CO2 exchange: a component of variation in shade tolerance among cold temperate tree seedlings

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2000
    M. B. Walters
    Abstract 1.,Does enhanced whole-plant CO2 exchange in moderately low to high light occur at the cost of greater CO2 loss rates at very-low light levels? We examined this question for first-year seedlings of intolerant Populus tremuloides and Betula papyrifera, intermediate Betula alleghaniensis, and tolerant Ostrya virginiana and Acer saccharum grown in moderately low (7·3% of open-sky) and low (2·8%) light. We predicted that, compared with shade-tolerant species, intolerant species would have characteristics leading to greater whole-plant CO2 exchange rates in moderately low to high light levels, and to higher CO2 loss rates at very-low light levels. 2.,Compared with shade-tolerant A. saccharum, less-tolerant species grown in both light treatments had greater mass-based photosynthetic rates, leaf, stem and root respiration rates, leaf mass:plant mass ratios and leaf area:leaf mass ratios, and similar whole-plant light compensation points and leaf-based quantum yields. 3.,Whole-plant CO2 exchange responses to light (0·3,600 µmol quanta m,2 s,1) indicated that intolerant species had more positive CO2 exchange rates at all but very-low light (< 15 µmol quanta m,2 s,1). In contrast, although tolerant A. saccharum had a net CO2 exchange disadvantage at light > 15 µmol quanta m,2 s,1, its lower respiration resulted in lower CO2 losses than other species at light < 15 µmol quanta m,2 s,1. 4.,Growth scaled closely with whole-plant CO2 exchange characteristics and especially with integrated whole-plant photosynthesis (i.e. leaf mass ratio × in situ leaf photosynthesis). In contrast, growth scaled poorly with leaf-level quantum yield, light compensation point, and light-saturated photosynthetic rate. 5.,Collectively these patterns indicated that: (a) no species was able to both minimize CO2 loss at very-low light (i.e. < 15 µmol quanta m,2 s,1) and maximize CO2 gain at higher light (i.e. > 15 µmol quanta m,2 s,1), because whole-plant respiration rates were positively associated with whole-plant photosynthesis at higher light; (b) shade-intolerant species possess traits that maximize whole-plant CO2 exchange (and thus growth) in moderately low to high light levels, but these traits may lead to long-term growth and survival disadvantages in very-low light (< 2·8%) owing, in part, to high respiration. In contrast, shade-tolerant species may minimize CO2 losses in very-low light at the expense of maximizing CO2 gain potential at higher light levels, but to the possible benefit of long-term survival in low light. [source]


    Structural biomass partitioning in regrowth and undisturbed mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa): implications for bioenergy uses

    GCB BIOENERGY, Issue 1 2010
    R. JAMES ANSLEY
    Abstract Honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) which grows on grasslands and rangelands in southwestern USA may have potential as a bioenergy feedstock because of existing standing biomass and regrowth potential. However, regrowth mesquite physiognomy is highly different from undisturbed mesquite physiognomy and little is known regarding growth rates and structural biomass allocation in regrowth mesquite. We compared canopy architecture, aboveground biomass and relative allocation of biomass components in regrowth (RG) trees of different known ages with undisturbed (UD) trees of similar canopy height to each RG age class. RG trees in most age classes (2,12 years old) had greater canopy area, leaf area, basal stem number, twig (<0.5 cm diameter) mass and small stem (0.5,3 cm diameter) mass than UD trees of the same height. Large stem (>3 cm diameter) mass was similar between RG and UD trees in all height classes. Ages of UD trees were determined after harvest and further comparisons were made between age, canopy structure and biomass in RG and UD trees. Relationships between age and total mass, age and height, and age and canopy area indicated a faster growth rate in RG than in UD trees. Large stem mass as a percentage of total tree mass accumulated more rapidly with age in RG than UD trees. Leaf area index and leaf : twig mass ratio were maintained near 1 in all RG and UD trees. Regrowth potential may be one of the most important features of mesquite in consideration as a bioenergy feedstock. [source]


    Responses of plants in polar regions to UVB exposure: a meta-analysis

    GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 11 2009
    KEVIN K. NEWSHAM
    Abstract We report a meta-analysis of data from 34 field studies into the effects of ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation on Arctic and Antarctic bryophytes and angiosperms. The studies measured plant responses to decreases in UVB radiation under screens, natural fluctuations in UVB irradiance or increases in UVB radiation applied from fluorescent UV lamps. Exposure to UVB radiation was found to increase the concentrations of UVB absorbing compounds in leaves or thalli by 7% and 25% (expressed on a mass or area basis, respectively). UVB exposure also reduced aboveground biomass and plant height by 15% and 10%, respectively, and increased DNA damage by 90%. No effects of UVB exposure were found on carotenoid or chlorophyll concentrations, net photosynthesis, Fv/Fm or ,PSII, belowground or total biomass, leaf mass, leaf area or specific leaf area (SLA). The methodology adopted influenced the concentration of UVB absorbing compounds, with screens and natural fluctuations promoting significant changes in the concentrations of these pigments, but lamps failing to elicit a response. Greater reductions in leaf area and SLA, and greater increases in concentrations of carotenoids, were found in experiments based in Antarctica than in those in the Arctic. Bryophytes typically responded in the same way as angiosperms to UVB exposure. Regression analyses indicated that the percentage difference in UVB dose between treatment and control plots was positively associated with concentrations of UVB absorbing compounds and carotenoids, and negatively so with aboveground biomass and leaf area. We conclude that, despite being dominated by bryophytes, the vegetation of polar regions responds to UVB exposure in a similar way to higher plant-dominated vegetation at lower latitudes. In broad terms, the exposure of plants in these regions to UVB radiation elicits the synthesis of UVB absorbing compounds, reduces aboveground biomass and height, and increases DNA damage. [source]


    Temporal dynamics and spatial variability in the enhancement of canopy leaf area under elevated atmospheric CO2

    GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 12 2007
    HEATHER R. McCARTHY
    Abstract Increased canopy leaf area (L) may lead to higher forest productivity and alter processes such as species dynamics and ecosystem mass and energy fluxes. Few CO2 enrichment studies have been conducted in closed canopy forests and none have shown a sustained enhancement of L. We reconstructed 8 years (1996,2003) of L at Duke's Free Air CO2 Enrichment experiment to determine the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) on L before and after canopy closure in a pine forest with a hardwood component, focusing on interactions with temporal variation in water availability and spatial variation in nitrogen (N) supply. The dynamics of L were reconstructed using data on leaf litterfall mass and specific leaf area for hardwoods, and needle litterfall mass and specific leaf area combined with needle elongation rates, and fascicle and shoot counts for pines. The dynamics of pine L production and senescence were unaffected by elevated [CO2], although L senescence for hardwoods was slowed. Elevated [CO2] enhanced pine L and the total canopy L (combined pine and hardwood species; P<0.050); on average, enhancement following canopy closure was ,16% and 14% respectively. However, variation in pine L and its response to elevated [CO2] was not random. Each year pine L under ambient and elevated [CO2] was spatially correlated to the variability in site nitrogen availability (e.g. r2=0.94 and 0.87 in 2001, when L was highest before declining due to droughts and storms), with the [CO2]-induced enhancement increasing with N (P=0.061). Incorporating data on N beyond the range of native fertility, achieved through N fertilization, indicated that pine L had reached the site maximum under elevated [CO2] where native N was highest. Thus closed canopy pine forests may be able to increase leaf area under elevated [CO2] in moderate fertility sites, but are unable to respond to [CO2] in both infertile sites (insufficient resources) and sites having high levels of fertility (maximum utilization of resources). The total canopy L, representing the combined L of pine and hardwood species, was constant across the N gradient under both ambient and elevated [CO2], generating a constant enhancement of canopy L. Thus, in mixed species stands, L of canopy hardwoods which developed on lower fertility sites (,3 g N inputs m,2 yr,1) may be sufficiently enhanced under elevated [CO2] to compensate for the lack of response in pine L, and generate an appreciable response of total canopy L (,14%). [source]


    Ecophysiological controls over the net ecosystem exchange of mountain spruce stand.

    GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 1 2007
    Comparison of the response in direct vs. diffuse solar radiation
    Abstract Cloud cover increases the proportion of diffuse radiation reaching the Earth's surface and affects many microclimatic factors such as temperature, vapour pressure deficit and precipitation. We compared the relative efficiencies of canopy photosynthesis to diffuse and direct photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) for a Norway spruce forest (25-year-old, leaf area index 11 m2 m,2) during two successive 7-day periods in August. The comparison was based on the response of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 to PPFD. NEE and stomatal conductance at the canopy level (Gcanopy) was estimated from half-hourly eddy-covariance measurements of CO2 and H2O fluxes. In addition, daily courses of CO2 assimilation rate (AN) and stomatal conductance (Gs) at shoot level were measured using a gas-exchange technique applied to branches of trees. The extent of spectral changes in incident solar radiation was assessed using a spectroradiometer. We found significantly higher NEE (up to 150%) during the cloudy periods compared with the sunny periods at corresponding PPFDs. Prevailing diffuse radiation under the cloudy days resulted in a significantly lower compensation irradiance (by ca. 50% and 70%), while apparent quantum yield was slightly higher (by ca. 7%) at canopy level and significantly higher (by ca. 530%) in sun-acclimated shoots. The main reasons for these differences appear to be (1) more favourable microclimatic conditions during cloudy periods, (2) stimulation of photochemical reactions and stomatal opening via an increase of blue/red light ratio, and (3) increased penetration of light into the canopy and thus a more equitable distribution of light between leaves. Our analyses identified the most important reason of enhanced NEE under cloudy sky conditions to be the effective penetration of diffuse radiation to lower depths of the canopy. This subsequently led to the significantly higher solar equivalent leaf area compared with the direct radiation. Most of the leaves in such dense canopy are in deep shade, with marginal or negative carbon balances during sunny days. These findings show that the energy of diffuse, compared with direct, solar radiation is used more efficiently in assimilation processes at both leaf and canopy levels. [source]


    Host-specific aphid population responses to elevated CO2 and increased N availability

    GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 11 2005
    Erika A. Sudderth
    Abstract Sap-feeding insects such as aphids are the only insect herbivores that show positive responses to elevated CO2. Recent models predict that increased nitrogen will increase aphid population size under elevated CO2, but few experiments have tested this idea empirically. To determine whether soil nitrogen (N) availability modifies aphid responses to elevated CO2, we tested the performance of Macrosiphum euphorbiae feeding on two host plants; a C3 plant (Solanum dulcamara), and a C4 plant (Amaranthus viridis). We expected aphid population size to increase on plants in elevated CO2, with the degree of increase depending on the N availability. We found a significant CO2× N interaction for the response of population size for M. euphorbiae feeding on S. dulcamara: aphids feeding on plants grown in ambient CO2, low N conditions increased in response to either high N availability or elevated CO2. No population size responses were observed for aphids infesting A. viridis. Elevated CO2 increased plant biomass, specific leaf weight, and C : N ratios of the C3 plant, S. dulcamara but did not affect the C4 plant, A. viridis. Increased N fertilization significantly increased plant biomass, leaf area, and the weight : height ratio in both experiments. Elevated CO2 decreased leaf N in S. dulcamara and had no effect on A. viridis, while higher N availability increased leaf N in A. viridis and had no effect in S. dulcamara. Aphid infestation only affected the weight : height ratio of S. dulcamara. We only observed an increase in aphid population size in response to elevated CO2 or increased N availability for aphids feeding on S. dulcamara grown under low N conditions. There appears to be a maximum population growth rate that M. euphorbiae aphids can attain, and we suggest that this response is because of intrinsic limits on development time and fecundity. [source]