Leaf economics traits are central in understanding and predicting the effects of plant biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Using soybean (Glycine max) – one of the world’s most widespread crops, Hayes et al. show that leaf economics traits also differ widely among crops of the same genotype.
Differences in soy leaf traits among plants can be predicted by managed environmental conditions and observed changes through plant development. The study by Hayes et al. shows that a small number of leaf traits are able to closely predict soy yield.