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An inconvenient truth about xylem resistance to embolism in the model species for refilling Laurus nobilis L.

Citation

Lamarque, LJ and Corso, D and Torres-Ruiz, JM and Badel, E and Brodribb, TJ and Burlett, R and Charrier, G and Choat, B and Cochard, H and Gambetta, GA and Jansen, S and King, A and Lenoir, N and Martin-StPaul, N and Steppe, K and Van den Bulcke, J and Zhang, Y and Delzon, S, An inconvenient truth about xylem resistance to embolism in the model species for refilling Laurus nobilis L., Annals of Forest Science, 75, (3) Article 88. ISSN 1286-4560 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature

DOI: doi:10.1007/s13595-018-0768-9

Abstract

Key message: Direct, non-invasive X-ray microtomography and optical technique observations applied in stems and leaves of intact seedlings revealed that laurel is highly resistant to drought-induced xylem embolism. Contrary to what has been brought forward, daily cycles of embolism formation and refilling are unlikely to occur in this species and to explain how it copes with drought.

Context: There has been considerable controversy regarding xylem embolism resistance for long-vesselled angiosperm species and particularly for the model species for refilling (Laurus nobilis L.).

Aims: The purpose of this study was to resolve the hydraulic properties of this species by documenting vulnerability curves of different organs in intact plants.

Methods: Here, we applied a direct, non-invasive method to visualize xylem embolism in stems and leaves of intact laurel seedlings up to 2-m tall using X-ray microtomography (microCT) observations and the optical vulnerability technique. These approaches were coupled with complementary centrifugation measurements performed on 1-m long branches sampled from adult trees and compared with additional microCT analyses carried out on 80-cm cut branches.

Results: Direct observations of embolism spread during desiccation of intact laurels revealed that 50% loss of xylem conductivity (Ψ50) was reached at -7.9 ▒ 0.5 and -8.4 ▒ 0.3áMPa in stems and leaves, respectively, while the minimum xylem water potentials measured in the field were -4.2áMPa during a moderate drought season. Those findings reveal that embolism formation is not routine in Laurus nobilis contrary to what has been previously reported. These Ψ50 values were close to those based on the flow-centrifuge technique (-9.2 ▒ 0.2áMPa), but at odds with microCT observations of cut branches (-4.0 ▒ 0.5áMPa).

Conclusion: In summary, independent methods converge toward the same conclusion that laurel is highly resistant to xylem embolism regardless its development stage. Under typical growth conditions without extreme drought events, this species maintains positive hydraulic safety margin, while daily cycles of embolism formation and refilling are unlikely to occur in this species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:e Direct, non-invasive X-ray microtomography and optical technique, xylem embolism, drought resistance, laurel, refilling, hydraulics, desiccation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant Biology
Research Field:Plant Physiology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Climate Change Adaptation Measures
UTAS Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
ID Code:128904
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP170100103)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2018-10-23
Last Modified:2019-03-28
Downloads:0

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