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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Intraspecific variations in leaf functional traits of Cunninghamia lanceolata provenances

Xu, Rui; Cheng, Shundan; Zhou, Jing; Tigabu, Mulualem; Ma, Xiangqing; Li, Ming


BackgroundStudies on intra-specific variability in leaf functional traits is important to evaluate adaptation of the species to predicted climate change, and to develop long-term conservation strategy. The main objectives were to investigate the relationship between the functional traits leaves and C, N, P stoichiometry of Chinese fir from different geographical provenances and their relationship with the main environmental factors of provenance.ResultsIn this study, we measured 12 leaf functional traits on 36-year-old Cunninghamia lanceolata trees from 13 provenances. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to examine the variability. Redundancy analysis (RA) was computed to examine the relationship between geo-climatic factors of provenance origin and leaf functional traits while Pearson's correlation coefficient was computed to assess inter-trait correlations. The results showed statistically significant differences (P < 0.01) in intraspecific leaf traits among provenances, except leaf P content. The relationships among leaf traits are consistent with the general trend observed in the leaf economic spectrum. Mean annual temperature appeared to be a key factor that influences intraspecific leaf traits variability compared to mean annual precipitation.ConclusionThese results provide useful insights about adaptation of leaf trait of Chinese fir in a changing climatic condition. Thus, our findings shed light on the importance of interspecific trait variability in Chinese fir and the potential effect of climate change.


Cunninghamia lanceolata; Leaf dry mass; Specific life area; Nutrient content

Published in

BMC Plant Biology
2023, Volume: 23, number: 1, article number: 92
Publisher: BMC

    SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Climate Research

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