Foliar Habit and Leaf Longevity

Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


The origins of the study of leaf longevity lie in the distinction between evergreen and deciduous plant species, which is not as simple as it first seems. The evergreen habit basically is defined by the retention of functional leaves in the plant canopy throughout the year, as opposed to the deciduous habit in which a plant is leafless for some part of the annual cycle. This simple evergreen–deciduous dichotomy most often is applied to woody trees, shrubs, and vines. Herbaceous perennials that retain leaves through winter are sometimes referred to as evergreen, or more often as wintergreen, in contrast to summergreen (Sydes 1984; Ohno 1990; Tessier 2008), but the evergreen–deciduous dichotomy has had less attention in herbaceous species than in woody plants.


Plant Canopy Deciduous Species Evergreen Species Leaf Longevity Canopy Architecture 
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© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ishikawa Prefectural UniversityNonoichiJapan
  2. 2.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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