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Leaf hydraulic conductance is linked to leaf symmetry in bifacial, amphistomatic leaves of sunflower


Richardson, F and Jordan, GJ and Brodribb, TJ, Leaf hydraulic conductance is linked to leaf symmetry in bifacial, amphistomatic leaves of sunflower, Journal of Experimental Botany, 71, (9) pp. 2808-2816. ISSN 0022-0957 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1093/JXB/ERAA035


The hydraulic implications of stomatal positioning across leaf surfaces and the impact on internal water flow through amphistomatic leaves are not currently well understood. Amphistomaty potentially provides hydraulic efficiencies if the majority of hydraulic resistance in the leaf exists outside the xylem in the mesophyll. Such a scenario would mean that the same xylem network could equally supply a hypostomatic or amphistomatic leaf. Here we examine leaves of Helianthus annuus to determine whether amphistomaty in this species is associated with higher hydraulic efficiency compared with hypostomatic leaves. We identified asymmetry in the positioning of minor veins which were significantly closer to the abaxial than the adaxial leaf surface, combined with lower Kleaf when transpiration was driven through the adaxial rather than the abaxial surface. We also identified a degree of coordination in stomatal behaviour driven by leaf hydraulics, where the hydraulic conditions experienced by an individual leaf surface affected the stomatal behaviour on the opposite surface. We found no advantage to amphistomaty based on efficiencies in construction costs of the venous system, represented by vein density:stomatal density, only limited hydraulic independence between leaf surfaces. These results suggest that amphistomaty does not substantially increase whole-leaf hydraulic efficiency.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:amphistomaty, hydraulic conductance, K-leaf, leaf water potential, mesophyll, stomata, stomatal ratio, vein density
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant biology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Ornamentals, natives, flowers and nursery plants
UTAS Author:Richardson, F (Miss Freya Richardson)
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
UTAS Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
ID Code:152863
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-08-25
Last Modified:2022-09-07
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