Responses of leaf morphological traits for broadleaved woody plants along the altitudinal gradient of Changbai Mountain,northeastern China. Journal of Beijing Forestry University
Plant leaf morphological traits adapt to the environment through long-term evolution and are closely
related to the basic function of plants. In this study,we examined the responses of leaf morphological
traits of broadleaved woody plants to the climatic gradient of Changbai Mountain in northeastern China.
We measured plant leaf morphological traits from 13 altitudes in Changbai Mountain, including leaf
length, leaf width, leaf perimeter, leaf area, the ratio of leaf length to width (LW) and the ratio of leaf
perimeter to area (PA). Correlation analysis and standardized major axis were used to investigate the
relationships between plant leaf morphological traits and climate factors, as well as correlations among leaf
morphological traits, and general linear model and variation partition were used to partition leaf trait
variation and to analyse the leaf traits in relation to environmental factors and species identities. Leaf
length, width, perimeter and leaf area decreased significantly with increased altitudinal gradient and
decreased annual temperature, while the perimeter/area and length/width ratios increased, which helps
increase the leaf boundary layer resistance and decrease heat dissipation from leaves. Variations in leaf
morphological traits in this study are largely explained by species identity, with its independent
explanatory power between 47.08% and 76.07%. Environmental factors also have a significant impact
on leaf morphological traits, but by itself explained only 1.22 % -3.82% of variation.