Why plants in wetlands are highly productive

Environmental scientists of Leiden University have found that the so-called leaf economics spectrum for plants can not only be applied to terrestrial ecosystems, such as forests and grasslands, but also to wetlands. Furthermore, ...

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Leaf

A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants.

Typically a leaf is a thin, flattened organ borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis, but many types of leaves are adapted in ways almost unrecognisable in those terms: not flat (such as many succulent leaves and conifers), not above ground (such as bulb scales), or without photosynthetic function (consider for example cataphylls, spines, and cotyledons).

Conversely, many structures of non-vascular plants, or even of some lichens, do look and function much like leaves. Several structures found in vascular plants look like leaves but have different structures; examples include phyllodes and phylloclades.

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