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Keywords:

  • allometry;
  • biomass allocation;
  • hydraulic conductivity;
  • leaf–stem relationship;
  • Mangifera indica (mango);
  • Réunion Island;
  • standardized major axis (SMA) method;
  • stem density

Summary

  • • 
    Leaf size–stem size allometric relationships are important features of biomass allocation in plants and are affected by biological functions linking the two organs. They have been studied at specific and supraspecific levels, but not at the infraspecific level. It was hypothesized that allometric relationships link leaf size and stem size at the cultivar level, and are cultivar-specific in relation to distinctive functional stem traits: hydraulic conductivity and mechanical strength.
  • • 
    Allometric relationships between leaf size and stem size were established for 3 yr, using the standardized major axis method, on current-year branches, composed of one to 16 growth units, for four mango (Mangifera indica) cultivars characterized by contrasting growth habits. The hydraulic and mechanical stem properties of these cultivars were also measured.
  • • 
    The slopes of the relationships were similar among cultivars, but not the y-intercepts. Different y-intercepts in the stem mass vs branch cross-sectional area relationship and in the leaf mass vs stem mass relationship were related to mechanical and to hydraulic stem properties, respectively.
  • • 
    These results showed that leaf–stem allometry in mango cultivars was shaped by hydraulic and mechanical stem properties, supporting a functional interpretation of the relationship between leaf and stem dimensions.