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|Titolo:||Evaluation of leaf features in forest trees: methods, techniques, obtainable information and limits.|
|Autori interni:||BUSSOTTI, FILIPPO|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Abstract:||Tree leaves are interfaces between the whole organism and the environment. Leaves display a series of attributes that are linked to specific functions (functional leaf traits – FLT) and/or show responses to biotic and abiotic stress factors (stress response traits, SRT), which can be subdivided into: (a) morphological traits; (b) chemical traits; (c) physiological traits; (d) symptoms. The analysis of FLT is a useful tool for tree species and provenance phenotyping, due to the adaptation of trees to environmental stress. Additionally, FLT can be used as response factor in long term and large spatial scales surveys of forest conditions. Despite these potential benefits of leaf traits in the assessment of ecosystem health and functioning, leaf sampling in forests is time-consuming and costly, especially in forests with a complex vertical and horizontal structure and in remote forest areas. Once a foliar sample has been collected, many different analyses can be carried out; however, analyses should be technically simple and able to be performed within one day following the leaf collection (i.e., on fresh samples), or after air-drying the leaves themselves (analysis of dried specimens). This paper reports the results of leaf sampling and foliar analyses carried out in previous research projects and revises the current state-of-the-art. The leaf traits that are easily obtainable from leaf sampling are listed, together with the operational procedures necessary for their measurement, described in a standardized protocol. Their ecological and functional relevance is discussed in relation to their potential information (as indicators of climatic stress, drought, air and soil pollution, tree light-use and competition, plant nutritional status, health and general plant stress conditions). Finally, this review provides suggestions for the elaboration and reporting of data, and proposes some guidelines to improve the effectiveness of foliar analysis in the assessment of forest ecosystem health, properties and functioning.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1a - Articolo su rivista|
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