Specific leaf area

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Specific leaf area (SLA) is defined as the ratio of leaf area to dry mass.[1][2][3]

Application[edit]

Specific leaf area can be used to estimate the reproductive strategy of a particular plant based upon light and moisture (humidity) levels, among other factors.[4] Specific leaf area is one of the most widely accepted key leaf characteristics used during the study of leaf traits.[5][6][7][8]

Changes in response to drought[edit]

Drought and water stress have varying effects on specific leaf area. In a variety of species, drought decreases specific leaf area.[9][10][11] For example, under drought conditions, leaves were, on average, smaller than leaves on control plants.[12] This is a logical observation, as a decrease in surface area would mean that there would be fewer ways for water to be lost. Species with typically low specific leaf area values are geared for the conservation of acquired resources, due to their large dry matter content, high concentrations of cell walls and secondary metabolites, and high leaf and root longevity.[13]

In some other species, such as Poplar trees, specific leaf area will decrease overall, but there will be an increase in specific leaf area until the leaf has reached its final size. After the final size has been reached, the specific leaf area will then begin decreasing.[14]

Other research has shown increasing specific leaf area values in plants under water limitation. An example of increasing specific leaf area values as a result of drought stress is the birch tree species.[15] Birch tree specific leaf area values significantly increased after two dry seasons, though the authors did note that, in typical cases, lowered specific leaf area values are seen as an adaptation to drought stress.

Measurement of leaf area[edit]

A device being used to non-destructively measure the area, length, width and perimeter of a leaf.

Portable leaf area meters can be used to provide a rapid, non-destructive measurement of leaf surface area, length, width and perimeter. Some can also measure diseased area by altering the sensitivity of the detecting system. These instruments have the ability to record the measured parameters as well as store a digital image of the leaf scanned.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vile, D.; Garnier, E; Shipley, B; Laurent, G; Navas, ML; Roumet, C; Lavorel, S; Díaz, S et al. (2005). "Specific Leaf Area and Dry Matter Content Estimate Thickness in Laminar Leaves - VILE et al., 10.1093/aob/mci264 - Annals of Botany". Annals of Botany (Aob.oxfordjournals.org) 96 (6): 1129–1136. doi:10.1093/aob/mci264. PMID 16159941. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  2. ^ "Specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content of plants growing in sand dunes". Ejournal.sinica.edu.tw. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  3. ^ "Varietal differences in specific leaf area: a common physiological determinant of tillering ability and early growth vigor ? - Publications des agents du Cirad". Publications.cirad.fr. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  4. ^ Milla, R.; Reich P. B. (4 Apr 2008). "Environmental and developmental controls on specific leaf area are little modified by leaf allometry". Functional Ecology 22 (4): 565–576. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2008.01406.x. Retrieved Nov 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ Freschet G.T., Dias A.T.C., Ackerly D.D., Aerts R., van Bodegom P.M., Cornwell W.K., Dong M., Kurokawa H., Liu G., Onipchenko V.G., Ordoñez J.C., Peltzer D.A., Richardson S.J., Shidakov I.I., Soudzilovskaia N.A., Tao J. & Cornelissen J.H.C. (2011). Global to community scale differences in the prevalence of convergent over divergent leaf trait distributions in plant assemblages. Global Ecology and Biogeography, no-no.
  6. ^ Hoffmann W.A., Franco A.C., Moreira M.Z. & Haridasan M. (2005). Specific leaf area explains differences in leaf traits between congeneric savanna and forest trees. Functional Ecology, 19, 932-940.
  7. ^ Kraft N.J.B., Valencia R. & Ackerly D.D. (2008). Functional traits and niche-based tree community assembly in an amazonian forest. Science, 322, 580-582.
  8. ^ Wright I.J., Reich P.B., Westoby M., Ackerly D.D., Baruch Z., Bongers F., Cavender-Bares J., Chapin T., Cornelissen J.H.C., Diemer M., Flexas J., Garnier E., Groom P.K., Gulias J., Hikosaka K., Lamont B.B., Lee T., Lee W., Lusk C., Midgley J.J., Navas M.-L., Niinemets Ü., Oleksyn J., Osada N., Poorter H., Poot P., Prior L., Pyankov V.I., Roumet C., Thomas S.C., Tjoelker M.G., Veneklass E.J. & Villar R. (2004). The worldwide leaf economics spectrum. Nature, 428, 821-827.
  9. ^ Casper, B. B., I. N. Forseth, H. Kempenich, S. Seltzer, and K. Xavier. 2001. Drought prolongs leaf life span in the herbaceous desert perennial Cryptantha flava. Functional Ecology 15:740–747.
  10. ^ Marron, N., E. Dreyer, E. Boudouresque, D. Delay, J.-M. Petit, F. M. Delmotte, and F. Brignolas. 2003. Impact of successive drought and re-watering cycles on growth and specific leaf area of two Populus canadensis (Moench) clones,“Dorskamp”and “Luisa_Avanzo”. Tree physiology 23:1225–1235.
  11. ^ Laureano, R. G., Y. O. Lazo, J. C. Linares, A. Luque, F. Martínez, J. I. Seco, and J. Merino. 2008. The cost of stress resistance: construction and maintenance costs of leaves and roots in two populations of Quercus ilex. Tree physiology 28:1721–1728.
  12. ^ Casper, B. B., I. N. Forseth, H. Kempenich, S. Seltzer, and K. Xavier. 2001. Drought prolongs leaf life span in the herbaceous desert perennial Cryptantha flava. Functional Ecology 15:740–747.
  13. ^ Marron, N., E. Dreyer, E. Boudouresque, D. Delay, J.-M. Petit, F. M. Delmotte, and F. Brignolas. 2003. Impact of successive drought and re-watering cycles on growth and specific leaf area of two Populus canadensis (Moench) clones,“Dorskamp”and “Luisa_Avanzo”. Tree physiology 23:1225–1235
  14. ^ Marron, N., E. Dreyer, E. Boudouresque, D. Delay, J.-M. Petit, F. M. Delmotte, and F. Brignolas. 2003. Impact of successive drought and re-watering cycles on growth and specific leaf area of two Populus canadensis (Moench) clones,“Dorskamp”and “Luisa_Avanzo”. Tree physiology 23:1225–1235.
  15. ^ Aspelmeier, S., and C. Leuschner. 2006. Genotypic variation in drought response of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth): leaf and root morphology and carbon partitioning. Trees 20:42–52.