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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)
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)
Climate-herbivory interactions have been largely debated vis-à-vis ecosystem carbon sequestration. However, invertebrate herbivores also modify emissions of plant biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). Over the shorter term, they do this by the induction of de novo synthesis of a plethora of compounds; but invertebrates also affect the relative(More)
Ecology increasingly relies on data synthesis and integration [1,2]. We fear, however, that the academic culture and merit system in ecology has not evolved in pace with the emergent need for increased collaboration. In particular, meta-analyses, which are often based on a large number of independent data sets (e.g. [3]), are reliant on the collection of(More)
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