Articles | Volume 14, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-481-2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-481-2017
Research article
 | 
30 Jan 2017
Research article |  | 30 Jan 2017

Leaf nitrogen from first principles: field evidence for adaptive variation with climate

Ning Dong, Iain Colin Prentice, Bradley J. Evans, Stefan Caddy-Retalic, Andrew J. Lowe, and Ian J. Wright

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Short summary
The nitrogen content of leaves is a key quantity for understanding ecosystem function. We analysed variations in nitrogen per unit leaf area among species at sites along a transect across Australia including many climates and ecosystem types. The data could be explained by the idea that leaf nitrogen comprises two parts, one proportional to leaf mass, the other (metabolic) part proportional to light intensity and declining with CO2 drawdown and temperature, as optimal allocation theory predicts.
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