KeywordsEcology & Evolutionary Biology
AdvisorEnquist, Brian J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWithin each leaf is an intricate network of veins. The geometry of this network shows large variation across species and environments, paralleling variation in species' functioning and geographic distributions. Here I develop theory that links leaf venation networks to 1) the worldwide leaf economics spectrum, enabling better understandings of the resource tradeoffs that are central to the terrestrial carbon and water cycles, and 2) atmospheric temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations, enabling better use of leaf fossils for paleoclimate reconstruction. I successfully test these theories across contemporary temperate and tropical sites, and apply them to paleo-sites spanning a 2Myr interval across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. These theoretical and empirical results demonstrate that leaf venation networks can provide an integrative framework for understanding relationships between plant form, function, and environment.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology