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Quantitative assessment of functional and structural traits

Measured traits are generally defined by sampling date, frequency of measurement and techniques to measure static (e.g. tiller number), dynamic (e.g. growth rate) traits, either per se or aiming at defining sensitivities (e.g. difference between treatments). Usually even the rather simple traits need to be well defined, e.g. should the petiole be included for the assessment of a leaf area or not? It is a rather trivial question but including or excluding petiole as part of a leaf area can substantially affect traits such as the specific leaf area. While in most experiments such issues are usually well defined and described these descriptions vary between different labs making quantitative and comparative analyses rather difficult. Thus, the assessment of some of the key traits which are frequently measured with respect to different environmental treatments. In particular we address measurement requirements for plants larges and with a more complex structure then the model plant Arabidopsis.