Plant Diversity ›› 2015, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (03): 309-317.

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Intraspecific Functional Trait Variation in a Tree Species (Lithocarpus dealbatus) along Latitude

 SU  Wen-Hua, SHI  Zhan, YANG  Bo, YANG  Jian-Jun, ZHAO  Guan-Hua, ZHOU  Rui   

  1. Institute of Ecology and Geobotany, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
  • Received:2014-07-25 Online:2015-05-25 Published:2014-09-29
  • Supported by:

    国家自然科学基金 (31260111)


We quantied intraspecic variation and covariation of leaf mass per area (LMA), leaf dry matter concentration (LD), leaf frost sensitivity (LFS) and Fv/Fm of leaves of 8 Lithocarpus dealbatus populations across the geographical distribution from north to south to determine the magnitude and whether it is related to environmental conditions, latitude and mean annual temperature. The results showed that the total variation (coefcient of variation) of LMA, LD, LFS and Fv/Fm were 160%, 177%, 211% and 401% respectively. The total intraspecic variation was contributed by the difference among populations, individuals and leaves. The difference among populations accounted for the largest total variation in LMA, LD and Fv/Fm, whereas the difference among leaves accounted for the largest total variation in LFS. On population level, LMA was significantly positive related to the latitude and Fv/Fm was significantly negative, but LD and LFS were not related to the latitude.  LMA decreased while Fv/Fm increased significantly with the increase of mean annual temperature. LD was a downward quadratic variation, and LFS was upward with the increase of mean annual temperature. The principal component analysis of four functional traits showed that no population was located nearer to the origin of the first and second principal component, and populations at the edge of distribution area located at both sides of the first principal component axis. The results suggested that the environmental variation in the distribution could cause intraspecic variation of functional traits. There is no population could represent a species in functional traits. When an average trait value for species is considered and trait comparisons are done among species, intraspecific variation of traits could not be ignored.

Key words: Leaf mass per area, Leaf dry matter concentration, Leaf frost sensitivity, Fv/Fm, Distribution area

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