Evol Ecol Res 20: 557-568 (2019) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
The latitudinal distribution patterns of leaf size and florescence properties
of Chinese endemic woody seed plants
Ruoyun Yu1,2, Hua Liu3, Qian Li3, Jihong Huang1,2, Wei Ren4, Yibo Liu3,
Yi Ding1,2, Xinghui Lu1,2, Yue Xu1,2 & Runguo Zang1,2
1Key Laboratory of Biodiversity Conservation of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration and Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environment of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection,
Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China
2Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
3School of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei Anhui, China
4Xinjiang Forestry School, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China
Correspondence: J. Huang, Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: The spatial patterns of species distribution and their mechanisms have long been the core of ecological research. Plant functional traits influence species distributions directly or indirectly. These functional traits, such as seed size and plant height, also show some regularity along the latitudinal gradient. However, few studies of patterns of leaf size and florescence properties along the latitudinal gradient have looked at the relationship between them.
Question: What are the patterns of leaf size and florescence of Chinese endemic woody seed plant species with latitude? Is there a correlation between leaf size and florescence of these species?
Data: Previously published data on leaf size (leaf length and leaf width), florescence (the first flowering stage, the final flowering stage, and the duration of flowering) of 3497 species, and related species distribution information for Chinese endemic woody seed plants.
Search method: Frequency analysis was used to obtain the basic features of leaf size and florescence of Chinese endemic woody seed plants. Linear regression was then used to examine the patterns of leaf size and florescence of these plants along latitudinal gradients, as well as any correlation between these two traits.
Conclusions: The number of species of Chinese endemic woody seed plants decreases gradually as leaf size and flowering duration increase. The numbers of species of endemic plants for the first and the final flowering stages show unimodal patterns, each peaking in May. Leaf size and flowering duration are negatively correlated with latitude. And there is a positive relationship between leaf length and flowering duration. The distribution patterns of these traits along the latitudinal gradient at a biogeographic scale, and the relationship of patterns of different functional traits, may reflect species ecological strategies.
Keywords: endemic species, plant traits, florescence, leaf size, latitude
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