Variability and Grouping of Leaf Traits in Multi-Species Reforestation (Leyte, Philippines)

Variability and Grouping of Leaf Traits in Multi-Species Reforestation (Leyte, Philippines)


Research on functional diversity is an important part in ongoing efforts to identify appropriate native tree species for reforestation projects. Increasing understanding of easy to measure physiological characteristics, such as specific leaf area, can help predict a variety of functional characteristics as well as growth perfromance.

Research Goals & Methods

This study assessed species-specific variation in leaf traits and maximal leaf stomatal conductance in three 11-12 year old mixed native species reforestation sites. The study also assessed the relationship of maximal leaf stomatal conductance to other tree variables, and attempted to group the species by leaf traits.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The study found significant variation in maximal leaf stomatal conductance as well as specific leaf area among the different species, and a weak significant relationship was found between maximal leaf stomatal conductance and dbh. Some species could be gathered in suggested groups with similar leaf traits, among them fast-growing semi-deciduous species (exotics and natives) in one group with high specific leaf areas and leaf nitrogen content, and dipterocarps wth low specific leaf area and low leaf nitrogen content in another. The authors suggest that the results can be used to help select native species for reforestation projects, and that mixed native species plantations can partly restore functional variability.




Sales-Come R, Hölscher D. Variability and grouping of leaf traits in multi-species reforestation (Leyte, Philippines). Forest Ecology and Management. 2010;260:846–855. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.06.002.


  • Tropical Silviculture and Forest Ecology, Burckhardt Institute, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines