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On the Relationships between Leaf-Litter Lignin and Net Primary Productivity in Tropical Rain Forests
Kanehiro Kitayama, Shizuo Suzuki, Masato Hori, Masaaki Takyu, Shin-Ichiro Aiba, Noreen Majalap-Lee and Kihachiro Kikuzawa
Vol. 140, No. 2 (Jul., 2004), pp. 335-339
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40005671
Page Count: 5
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We investigated if tropical rainforest trees produced more-lignified leaves in less productive environments using forests on Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. Our investigation was based on two earlier suggestions that slower litter decomposition occurs under less productive forests and that trees under resource limitation invest a large amount of carbon as lignin as a defense substance to minimize the loss from herbivores. When nine forests at different altitudes (700-3100 m) and soil conditions (derived from sedimentary or ultrabasic rocks) but with the same gentle relief position were compared, the concentrations of the lef-litter lignin were positively correlated with litterfall rates and leaf-litter nirogen concentrations. These Patterns would be reinforced in intact leaves if the effects of resorption at the time of leaf shedding were taken into account, becauce greater magnitude of resorption of mobile elements but not of lignin would occur in less productive environments (i.e. dilution of lignin in intact leaves). These results did not support earlier suggcstions to explain the variation of leaf-litter lignin. instead, we suggest that lower lignin contents are adaptive to recycle minerals without retarding decomposition in less productive environments.
Oecologia © 2004 Springer