Planta

, Volume 228, Issue 3, pp 383–390

Specific leaf area relates to the differences in leaf construction cost, photosynthesis, nitrogen allocation, and use efficiencies between invasive and noninvasive alien congeners

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-008-0732-2

Cite this article as:
Feng, Y., Fu, G. & Zheng, Y. Planta (2008) 228: 383. doi:10.1007/s00425-008-0732-2
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Abstract

Comparisons between invasive and native species may not characterize the traits of invasive species, as native species might be invasive elsewhere if they were introduced. In this study, invasive Oxalis corymbosa and Peperomia pellucida were compared with their respective noninvasive alien congeners. We hypothesized that the invasive species have higher specific leaf (SLA) than their respective noninvasive alien congeners, and analyzed the physiological and ecological consequences of the higher SLA. Higher SLA was indeed the most important trait for the two invaders, which was associated with their lower leaf construction cost, higher nitrogen (N) allocation to photosynthesis and photosynthetic N use efficiency (PNUE). The higher N allocation to photosynthesis of the invaders in turn increased their PNUE, N content in photosynthesis, biochemical capacity for photosynthesis, and therefore light-saturated photosynthetic rate. The above resource capture-, use- and growth-related traits may facilitate the two invaders’ invasion, while further comparative studies on a wider range of invasive and noninvasive congeners are needed to understand the generality of this pattern and to fully assess the competitive advantages afforded by these traits.

Keywords

Congeneric comparisonInvasivenessNitrogen allocationNitrogen use efficiencyPhotosynthesisSpecific leaf area

Abbreviations

Ci

Intercellular CO2 concentration

CC

Leaf construction cost

CE

Carboxylation efficiency

Gs

Stomatal conductance

Jmax

Maximum electron transport rate

NA

Total leaf nitrogen content

NB

Nitrogen content in bioenergetics

NC

Nitrogen content in carboxylation

PB

The fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to bioenergetics

PC

The fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to carboxylation

Pmax

Light-saturated photosynthetic rate

PNUE

Photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency

RGR

Relative growth rate

SLA

Specific leaf area

Vcmax

Maximum carboxylation rate

WUE

Water use efficiency

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina