Comparison of plant functional traits between wild and reintroduced Sinojackia huangmeiensis, a rare and endangered plant.
Sinojackia huangmeiensis is a rare and endangered plant in China. To help protect S. huangmeiensis, we have implemented its reintroduction via augmentation and translocation. Here, we compared the morphological, anatomical, and ecophysiological traits of leaves of wild and reintroduced (augmented and translocated) plants. Leaf thickness, leaf area, and dry matter content of the trunk leaves were highest for augmented plants, intermediate for wild plants, and lowest for translocated plants. Specific leaf area of the trunk leaves was largest for translocated plants, intermediate for wild plants, and smallest for augmented plants. The ratio of palisade tissue to spongy tissue in trunk leaves was lower in both augmented plants and translocated plants than in wild plants. The maximum photosynthetic rate of augmented and translocated plants was similar and higher than that of wild plants. Water-use efficiency was highest for wild plants and lowest for augmented plants. We found that S. huangmeiensis was a mesophyte. It could tolerate a wide range of light conditions and had strong ecophysiological adaptability. Our findings suggest that S. huangmeiensis, and perhaps other endangered plants that have narrow distributions and that produce sprouts, can be transplanted with trunk and sprouts together in order to increase their survival.