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Bulletin of Botanical Research ›› 2014, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 741-750.doi: 10.7525/j.issn.1673-5102.2014.06.005

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Leaf Fall Patterns of 12 Evergreen Woody Species in Subtropical Evergreen Forest in Tiantong Mountain of Zhejiang Province, China


  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Life Sciences,Zhejiang Normal University,Jinhua 321004;
    2.School of Life Sciences,Nanjing University,Nanjing 210093
  • Received:2014-04-29 Online:2014-11-20 Published:2015-01-06
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Abstract: Leaf fall patterns can reflect the physiological ecology adapting of leaf to environment, and are the basis for the ecosystem process and function. In order to reveal the diversity of leaf fall patterns, we recorded the dynamics of perennial leaves (one-year old or older) number and current-year leaves number of the same twigs during leaf flushing period for twelve evergreen woody species in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Tiantong Mountain in Zhejiang Province, China. According to the peaks of leaf shedding and temporal distribution, we divided them into seasonal leaf fall peak and successively leaf fall patterns. Of twelve species, four species showed a spring leaf fall peak, two species showed a summer leaf fall peak, one species showed an autumn leaf fall peak, one species showed a spring and autumn bimodal leaf fall peaks, and four species shed their leaves successively round the year without a remarkable leaf fall peak. The sun-adapted species (including canopy trees and gap shrubs) are most seasonal leaf fall peaks patterns, while shade-adapted species are successively leaf fall patterns, and the former have larger percentage of total leaf fall amounts than the latter, which indicates the faster leaf turnover rate of the sun-adapted species. Combined with the climate data and the leaf flushing phenology, we discussed the impact factors (including leaf production, typhoon disturbance and water balance) influencing the leaf fall patterns. The leaf fall patterns in subtropical evergreen forest may help us to further explore the strategy of plant adaptation to environments.

Key words: evergreen broad-leaved subtropical forest, evergreen woody species, leaf fall patterns, leaf flushing phenology

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