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Leaf physiology does not predict leaf habit; examples from tropical dry forest


Brodribb, TJ and Holbrook, NM, Leaf physiology does not predict leaf habit; examples from tropical dry forest, Trees, 19, (3) pp. 290-295. ISSN 0931-1890 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00468-004-0390-3


Leaf structure and physiology are thought to be closely linked to leaf longevity and leaf habit. Here we compare the seasonal variation in leaf hydraulic conductance (k leaf) and water potential of two evergreen tree species with contrasting leaf life spans, and two species with similar leaf longevity but contrasting leaf habit, one being deciduous and the other evergreen. One of the evergreen species, Simarouba glauca, produced relatively short-lived leaves that maintained high hydraulic conductance year round by periodic flushing. The other evergreen species, Quercus oleoides, produced longer-lived leaves with lower k leaf and as a result minimum leaf water potential was much lower than in S. glauca (-2.8 MPa vs -1.6 MPa). Associated with exposure to lower water potentials, Q. oleoides leaves were harder, had a higher modulus of elasticity, and were less vulnerable to cavitation than S. glauca leaves. Both species operate at water potentials capable of inducing 20 (S. glauca) to 50% (Q. oleoides) loss of k leaf during the dry season although no evidence of cumulative losses in k leaf were observed in either species suggesting regular repair of embolisms. Leaf longevity in the deciduous species Rhedera trinervis is similar to that of S. glauca, although maximum k leaf was lower. Furthermore, a decline in leaf water potential at the onset of the dry season led to cumulative losses in k leaf in R. trinervis that culminated in leaf shedding. © Springer-Verlag 2004.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
ID Code:38029
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:35
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2007-12-04

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