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Bringing together leaf trait data spanning 2,548 species and 175 sites we describe, for the first time at global scale, a universal spectrum of leaf economics consisting of key chemical, structural and physiological properties. The spectrum runs from quick to slow return on investments of nutrients and dry mass in leaves, and operates largely independently(More)
Here, we analysed a wide range of literature data on the leaf dry mass per unit area (LMA). In nature, LMA varies more than 100-fold among species. Part of this variation (c. 35%) can be ascribed to differences between functional groups, with evergreen species having the highest LMA, but most of the variation is within groups or biomes. When grown in the(More)
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Foliage structure, chemistry, photosynthetic potentials (V(cmax) and J(max)), and mesophyll diffusion conductance (g(m)) were quantified for 35 broad-leaved species from four sites with contrasting rainfall and soil fertility in eastern Australia. The aim of the study was to estimate the extent to which g(m) and related leaf properties limited(More)
More than 5,000 measurements from 1,943 plant species were used to explore the scaling relationships among the foliar surface area and the dry, water, and nitrogen/phosphorus mass of mature individual leaves. Although they differed statistically, the exponents for the relationships among these variables were numerically similar among six species groups(More)
• Paleobotanists have long used models based on leaf size and shape to reconstruct paleoclimate. However, most models incorporate a single variable or use traits that are not physiologically or functionally linked to climate, limiting their predictive power. Further, they often underestimate paleotemperature relative to other proxies. • Here we quantify(More)
Leaf-level determinants of species environmental stress tolerance are still poorly understood. Here, we explored dependencies of species shade (T(shade)) and drought (T(drought)) tolerance scores on key leaf structural and functional traits in 339 Northern Hemisphere temperate woody species. In general, T(shade) was positively associated with leaf life-span(More)
1. Plant traits vary widely across species and underpin differences in ecological strategy. Despite centuries of interest, the contributions of different evolutionary lineages to modern-day functional diversity remain poorly quantified. 2. Expanding data bases of plant traits plus rapidly improving phylogenies enable for the first time a data-driven global(More)
Question: Are plant traits more closely correlated with mean annual temperature , or with mean annual precipitation? Methods: We quantified the strength of the relationships between temperature and precipitation and 21 plant traits from 447,961 species-site combinations worldwide. We used meta-analysis to provide an overall answer to our question. Results:(More)