Scaling relationships between leaf shape and area of 12 rosaceae species
CITATION: Yu, X., et al. 2019. Scaling relationships between leaf shape and area of 12 rosaceae species. Symmetry, 11(10):1255, doi:10.3390/sym11101255.
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Leaf surface area (A) and leaf shape have been demonstrated to be closely correlated with photosynthetic rates. The scaling relationship between leaf biomass (both dry weight and fresh weight) and A has been widely studied. However, few studies have focused on the scaling relationship between leaf shape and A. Here, using more than 3600 leaves from 12 Rosaceae species, we examined the relationships of the leaf-shape indices including the left to right side leaf surface area ratio (AR), the ratio of leaf perimeter to leaf surface area (RPA), and the ratio of leaf width to length (RWL) versus A. We also tested whether there is a scaling relationship between leaf dry weight and A, and between PRA and A. There was no significant correlation between AR and A for each of the 12 species. Leaf area was also found to be independent of RWL because leaf width remained proportional to leaf length across the 12 species. However, there was a negative correlation between RPA and A. The scaling relationship between RPA and A held for each species, and the estimated scaling exponent of RPA versus A approached −1/2; the scaling relationship between leaf dry weight and A also held for each species, and 11 out of the 12 estimated scaling exponents of leaf dry weight versus A were greater than unity. Our results indicated that leaf surface area has a strong scaling relationship with leaf perimeter and also with leaf dry weight but has no relationship with leaf symmetry or RWL. Additionally, our results showed that leaf dry weight per unit area, which is usually associated with the photosynthetic capacity of plants, increases with an increasing A because the scaling exponent of leaf dry weight versus A is greater than unity. This suggests that a large leaf surface area requires more dry mass input to support the physical structure of the leaf.