Specific leaf area

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


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 (SLA) is one of the most widely accepted key leaf characteristics used during the study of leaf traits.[5][6][7][8]

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]


  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.