Morphometric parameters of mature leaves (area, venation density, and shape coefficient) and trunks (size and biomass) of two edificatory birch species, Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescens Ehrh., were characterized. These species inhabit a 1600-km transect of the Urals, from forest-tundra to forest-steppe. In both species, the highest trunk biomass was observed in the subzone of south taiga. Trunk parameters and leaf sizes of B. pendula varied in a narrower range than in B. pubescens. As distinct from leaf shape, leaf size was correlated with the average multiyear climate characteristics but not with the weather during a given growth season. In B. pubescens, which range extends wide from its climatic optimum, leaf area was positively correlated with trunk biomass. In B. pendula, growing mainly within the area of its climatic optimum, such correlation was not observed. We concluded that such parameter as mature leaf size could be used for prediction of tree productivity growing outside of the zone of their climatic optimum.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 6, 2009
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