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    The global biogeography of tree leaf form and habit

    Ma, Haozhi ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0709-1438, Crowther, Thomas W, Mo, Lidong ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3805-7638, Maynard, Daniel S ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0142-9100, Renner, Susanne S ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3704-0703, van den Hoogen, Johan, Zou, Yibiao, Liang, Jingjing ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9439-9320, de-Miguel, Sergio ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9738-0657, Nabuurs, Gert-Jan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9761-074X, Reich, Peter B ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4424-662X, Niinemets, Ülo, Abegg, Meinrad ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5151-5889, Adou Yao, Yves C ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9408-3497, Alberti, Giorgio ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2422-3009, Almeyda Zambrano, Angelica M., Alvarado, Braulio Vilchez, Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban, Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia, Alves, Luciana F. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8944-1851, Ammer, Christian ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4235-0135, Antón-Fernández, Clara ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5545-3320, Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro, Arroyo, Luzmila, Avitabile, Valerio, Aymard, Gerardo A ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9405-0508, Baker, Timothy R ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3251-1679, Bałazy, Radomir, Banki, Olaf ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6197-9951, Barroso, Jorcely G, Bastian, Meredith L ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0000-9115, Bastin, Jean-Francois ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2602-7247, Birigazzi, Luca, Birnbaum, Philippe ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4830-5500, Bitariho, Robert ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3461-0013, Boeckx, Pascal ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3998-0010, Bongers, Frans ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8431-6189, Bouriaud, Olivier ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8046-466X, Brancalion, Pedro H. S., Brandl, Susanne, Brearley, Francis Q, Brienen, Roel ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5397-5755, Broadbent, Eben N., Bruelheide, Helge ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3135-0356, Bussotti, Filippo, Cazzolla Gatti, Roberto, César, Ricardo G., Cesljar, Goran, Chazdon, Robin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7349-5687, Chen, Han Y H, Chisholm, Chelsea, Cho, Hyunkook, Cienciala, Emil ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1254-4254, Clark, Connie, Clark, David, Colletta, Gabriel D, Coomes, David A ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8261-2582, Valverde, Fernando Cornejo, Corral-Rivas, José J, Crim, Philip M ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5039-4306, Cumming, Jonathan R, Dayanandan, Selvadurai, de Gasper, André L ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1940-9581, Decuyper, Mathieu ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1713-8562, Derroire, Géraldine ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7239-2881, DeVries, Ben ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2136-3401, Djordjevic, Ilija, Dolezal, Jiri ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5829-4051, Dourdain, Aurélie, Engone Obiang, Nestor Laurier, Enquist, Brian J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6124-7096, Eyre, Teresa J, Fandohan, Adandé Belarmain ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8426-6839, Fayle, Tom M, Feldpausch, Ted R, Ferreira, Leandro V, Finér, Leena, Fischer, Markus ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5589-5900, Fletcher, Christine, Fridman, Jonas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8295-665X, Frizzera, Lorenzo, Gamarra, Javier G P ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1290-9559, Gianelle, Damiano ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7697-5793, Glick, Henry B, Harris, David J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6801-2484, Hector, Andrew ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1309-7716, Hemp, Andreas, Hengeveld, Geerten, Hérault, Bruno ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6950-7286, Herbohn, John L, Herold, Martin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0246-6886, Hillers, Annika, Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2314-590X, Hui, Cang ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3660-8160, Ibanez, Thomas T, Amaral, Iêda, Imai, Nobuo, Jagodziński, Andrzej M ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6899-0985, Jaroszewicz, Bogdan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2042-8245, Johannsen, Vivian Kvist ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1268-9787 and et al (2023) The global biogeography of tree leaf form and habit. Nature Plants, 9 (11). pp. 1795-1809. ISSN 2055-0278

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    Abstract

    Understanding what controls global leaf type variation in trees is crucial for comprehending their role in terrestrial ecosystems, including carbon, water and nutrient dynamics. Yet our understanding of the factors influencing forest leaf types remains incomplete, leaving us uncertain about the global proportions of needle-leaved, broadleaved, evergreen and deciduous trees. To address these gaps, we conducted a global, ground-sourced assessment of forest leaf-type variation by integrating forest inventory data with comprehensive leaf form (broadleaf vs needle-leaf) and habit (evergreen vs deciduous) records. We found that global variation in leaf habit is primarily driven by isothermality and soil characteristics, while leaf form is predominantly driven by temperature. Given these relationships, we estimate that 38% of global tree individuals are needle-leaved evergreen, 29% are broadleaved evergreen, 27% are broadleaved deciduous and 5% are needle-leaved deciduous. The aboveground biomass distribution among these tree types is approximately 21% (126.4 Gt), 54% (335.7 Gt), 22% (136.2 Gt) and 3% (18.7 Gt), respectively. We further project that, depending on future emissions pathways, 17–34% of forested areas will experience climate conditions by the end of the century that currently support a different forest type, highlighting the intensification of climatic stress on existing forests. By quantifying the distribution of tree leaf types and their corresponding biomass, and identifying regions where climate change will exert greatest pressure on current leaf types, our results can help improve predictions of future terrestrial ecosystem functioning and carbon cycling.

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