Publication
Title
Why does not the leaf weight-area allometry of bamboos follow the 3/2-power law?
Author
Abstract
The principle of similarity (Thompson, 1917) states that the weight of an organism follows the 3/2-power law of its surface area and is proportional to its volume on the condition that the density is constant. However, the allometric relationship between leaf weight and leaf area has been reported to greatly deviate from the 3/2-power law, with the irregularity of leaf density largely ignored for explaining this deviation. Here, we choose 11 bamboo species to explore the allometric relationships among leaf area (A), density (ρ), length (L), thickness (T), and weight (W). Because the edge of a bamboo leaf follows a simplified two-parameter Gielis equation, we could show that A ∝ L2 and that A ∝ T2. This then allowed us to derive the density-thickness allometry ρ ∝ Tb and the weight-area allometry W ∝ A(b+3)/2 ≈ A9/8, where b approximates −3/4. Leaf density is strikingly negatively associated with leaf thickness, and it is this inverse relationship that results in the weight-area allometry to deviate from the 3/2-power law. In conclusion, although plants are prone to invest less dry mass and thus produce thinner leaves when the leaf area is sufficient for photosynthesis, such leaf thinning needs to be accompanied with elevated density to ensure structural stability. The findings provide the insights on the evolutionary clue about the biomass investment and output of photosynthetic organs of plants. Because of the importance of leaves, plants could have enhanced the ratio of dry material per unit area of leaf in order to increase the efficiency of photosynthesis, relative the other parts of plants. Although the conclusion is drawn only based on 11 bamboo species, it should also be applicable to the other plants, especially considering previous works on the exponent of the weight-area relationship being less than 3/2 in plants.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Frontiers in plant science. - Place of publication unknown
Frontiers in plant science. - Place of publication unknown
Publication
Place of publication unknown : publisher unknown , 2018
ISSN
1664-462X
Volume/pages
9 (2018) , 9 p.
Article Reference
583
ISI
000431415100001
Pubmed ID
29780397
Medium
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 07.05.2018
Last edited 19.10.2021
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