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Authors: Diamantoglou, Stergos
Rhizopoulou, Sophia
Kull, Ulrich
Title: Energy content, storage substances, and construction and maintenance costs of Mediterranean deciduous leaves
Issue Date: 1989 Zeitschriftenartikel Oecologia 81 (1989), S. 528-533. URL
Abstract: At monthly intervals water content, crude fibre, total and protein nitrogen, sugars, starch, total lipids, ash content and calorific total energy were measured throughout the lifespan of the leaves of the deciduous mediterranean shrubs Pistacia terebinthus L. and Cotinus coggygria Scop. From these data the construction costs and maintenance costs, as well as the construction costs of non-storage compounds and energy expenditure values were calculated. The latter values were also calculated for the evergreen stemmed shrub Ephedra distachya for reasons of comparison with an evergreen mediterranean species. The water status in the deciduous leaves is stable for a long time during the drought period until the beginning of senescence in August/September. In Cotinus an early and considerable increase of storage compounds is found, whilst in Pistacia terebinthus the accumulation is more uniform until August. The N-content is rather low compared with other deciduous leaves, the calorific energy is in the lower range of the values reported for similar species. The construction costs of the leaves of both deciduous species are significantly lower than those calculated by Williams et al. (1987) for two drought deciduous chaparral species but are in agreement with the data reported by other authors on deciduous leaves. Contrary to the findings of Williams et al. they are lower than those of evergreen species; this is also true when the construction cost of the non-storage compounds alone is considered. The values found for Ephedra are similar to the maintenance costs do not show a significant variation in the deciduous leaves. They are higher than those known for evergreen leaves but somewhat lower than the values calculated for deciduous chaparral leaves.
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