What is it about?

Leaf mass per area is a simple to measure variable which may tell a lot about how plants function. Based on many publications with many species, we applied a meta-analysis and determined dose-response curves for 12 environmental factors and analysed how functional groups differ in LMA.

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Why is it important?

LMA tells us how much leaf biomass is invested in 1 square meter of leaf area. It is directly related to the growth rate of a plant.


Fast-growing species generally have thin leaves, slow-growing species thick and denser leaves. Of the 12 environmental factors considered, light had a strong (positive) effect, and temperature a strong negative effect.

Hendrik Poorter
Forschungszentrum Jülich

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Causes and consequences of variation in leaf mass per area (LMA): a meta‐analysis, New Phytologist, April 2009, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.02830.x.
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