Over the next few years (and starting in Peru this year) we are collecting data on leaf function and structure in tropical trees. One particularly beautiful aspect is describing leaf vein structure. Vein structure is to a large extent about how plants deliver water to their active leaf tissue, and has rarely been described for tropical trees.
Below are some of the first images from our campaign, analysed by Norma Salinas for our field site at Wayqecha, in the high Andes at 3025 m above sea level. Many, many more leaves to come...
Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosytem ecologist and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University