Structural and Functional Changes in the Leaves of Plants from Steppe Communities as Affected by Aridization of the Eurasian Climate

Structural and Functional Changes in the Leaves of Plants from Steppe Communities as Affected by... Morphological and physiological characteristics of leaves from plant species collected in steppe communities in the various climatic zones in Eurasia were compared. The changes in leaf structure correlated with the major climatic factors. The mean thickness of leaves increased with increasing mean temperature of July and decreasing mean precipitation, which corresponded to aridity increase. The increased leaf thickness correlated with an increase in the specific leaf weight. The content of chlorophylls (a + b) in leaves greatly varied with plant habitats, whereas the chlorophyll a/b ratio remained unchanged. The chlorophyll content in leaf tissues had a general tendency to decrease with increasing leaf thickness. The leaf chlorophyll content positively correlated (R 2 = 0.77) with the proportion of chlorenchyma in leaf tissues. It is concluded that steppe plants adapt to climate aridization at the structural level by increasing the proportion of protective heterotrophic components of the leaf without changing the functional activity of photosynthetic tissues. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Russian Journal of Plant Physiology Springer Journals

Structural and Functional Changes in the Leaves of Plants from Steppe Communities as Affected by Aridization of the Eurasian Climate

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica”
Subject
Life Sciences; Plant Sciences
ISSN
1021-4437
eISSN
1608-3407
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1025627805206
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Morphological and physiological characteristics of leaves from plant species collected in steppe communities in the various climatic zones in Eurasia were compared. The changes in leaf structure correlated with the major climatic factors. The mean thickness of leaves increased with increasing mean temperature of July and decreasing mean precipitation, which corresponded to aridity increase. The increased leaf thickness correlated with an increase in the specific leaf weight. The content of chlorophylls (a + b) in leaves greatly varied with plant habitats, whereas the chlorophyll a/b ratio remained unchanged. The chlorophyll content in leaf tissues had a general tendency to decrease with increasing leaf thickness. The leaf chlorophyll content positively correlated (R 2 = 0.77) with the proportion of chlorenchyma in leaf tissues. It is concluded that steppe plants adapt to climate aridization at the structural level by increasing the proportion of protective heterotrophic components of the leaf without changing the functional activity of photosynthetic tissues.

Journal

Russian Journal of Plant PhysiologySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 11, 2004

References

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