We investigated whole-plant leaf area in relation to ontogenetic variation in leaf-size for a forest perennial herb, Cardiocrinum cordatum. The 200-fold ontogenetic variability in C. cordatum leaf area followed a power-law dependence on total leaf number, a measure of developmental stage. When we normalized for plant size, the function describing the size of single leaves along the stem was similar among different-sized plants, implying that the different-sized canopies observed at different times in the growth trajectory were fundamentally similar to each other. We conclude that the growth trajectory of a population of C. cordatum plant leaves obeyed a dynamic scaling law, the first reported for a growth trajectory at the whole-plant level.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)