Intraspecific trait variation and coordination: Root and leaf economics spectra in coffee across environmental gradients

Isaac Marney E., Martin Adam R., de Melo Virginio Filho Elias, Rapidel Bruno, Roupsard Olivier, Van den Meersche Karel. 2017. Intraspecific trait variation and coordination: Root and leaf economics spectra in coffee across environmental gradients. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8:1196, 13 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
Published version - Anglais
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : PLANT SCIENCES

Abstract : Hypotheses on the existence of a universal “Root Economics Spectrum” (RES) have received arguably the least attention of all trait spectra, despite the key role root trait variation plays in resource acquisition potential. There is growing interest in quantifying intraspecific trait variation (ITV) in plants, but there are few studies evaluating (i) the existence of an intraspecific RES within a plant species, or (ii) how a RES may be coordinated with other trait spectra within species, such as a leaf economics spectrum (LES). Using Coffea arabica (Rubiaceae) as a model species, we measured seven morphological and chemical traits of intact lateral roots, which were paired with information on four key LES traits. Field collections were completed across four nested levels of biological organization. The intraspecific trait coefficient of variation (cv) ranged from 25 to 87% with root diameter and specific root tip density showing the lowest and highest cv, respectively. Between 27 and 68% of root ITV was explained by site identity alone for five of the seven traits measured. A single principal component explained 56.2% of root trait covariation, with plants falling along a RES from resource acquiring to conserving traits. Multiple factor analysis revealed significant orthogonal relationships between root and leaf spectra. RES traits were strongly orthogonal with respect to LES traits, suggesting these traits vary independently from one another in response to environmental cues. This study provides among the first evidence that plants from the same species differentiate from one another along an intraspecific RES. We find that in one of the world's most widely cultivated crops, an intraspecific RES is orthogonal to an intraspecific LES, indicating that above and belowground responses of plants to managed (or natural) environmental gradients are likely to occur independently from one another. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Coffea arabica, agroécologie, Agroforesterie, Feuille, Racine, Physiologie végétale, Anatomie végétale, Méthode statistique, Adaptabilité, Adaptation physiologique, Développement biologique, Facteur du milieu

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Nicaragua, Costa Rica

Classification Agris : F62 - Plant physiology - Growth and development
F50 - Plant structure

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2014-2018) - Agriculture écologiquement intensive

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Isaac Marney E., University of Toronto (CAN)
  • Martin Adam R., Université de Toronto (CAN)
  • de Melo Virginio Filho Elias, CATIE (CRI)
  • Rapidel Bruno, CIRAD-DG-Direction générale/Service d'appui auprès des unités de recherche et des services (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-0288-5650
  • Roupsard Olivier, CIRAD-PERSYST-UMR Eco&Sols (CRI)
  • Van den Meersche Karel, CIRAD-PERSYST-UMR Eco&Sols (CRI) ORCID: 0000-0002-0866-7657

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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