New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1984) 7: 169- 174

Mineral Element Concentrations in Foliage of Divaricate and Non-Divaricate Coprosma Species

Research Article
William G. Lee  
Peter N. Johnson  
  1. Botany Division, DSIR, Dunedin, New Zealand

The levels of mineral elements in foliage of 10 Coprosma species growing in secondary forest in Dunedin were compared using canonical discriminant analysis. The results revealed distinctive patterns of nutrient accumulation separating divaricating and non-divaricating growth forms. Foliar concentrations of N, P and Na were higher in divaricating species, particularly those with small, membranous leaves, compared with smaIl- and large-leaved non-divaricating species. The results are discussed in relation to herbivory and the current ecological niche of the different Coprosma species.