• foliage;
  • mesophyllic;
  • nutrient concentrations;
  • rainforest;
  • savanna;
  • sclerophyllous

Abstract Analysis of foliar nutrient concentrations revealed that two mesophyllic monsoon rainforest trees had higher concentrations of most nutrients in leaves than eight savanna species. One of the tested monsoon rainforest species with sclerophyllous leaves had similar nutrient concentrations to the savanna tree species. There were positive or no significant correlations between live foliar nutrient concentration and the percentage of nutrients withdrawn prior to litterfall. The nutrient concentration of litter was similar for most nutrients among tree species of monsoon rainforest or savanna. The results of this study suggest that the relative fertility of surface soils of monsoon rainforest compared with savanna is not determined by contrasting nutrient cycling strategies whereby monsoon rainforest tree species enrich their soils with relatively nutrient rich leaf litter relative to savanna tree species.