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Differential leaf expansion can enable hydraulic acclimation to sun and shade


Carins Murphy, MR and Jordan, GJ and Brodribb, TJ, Differential leaf expansion can enable hydraulic acclimation to sun and shade, Plant, Cell and Environment, 35, (8) pp. 1407-1418. ISSN 0140-7791 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-3040.2012.02498.x


Although leaf size is one of the most responsive plant traits to environmental change, the functional benefits of large versus small leaves remain unclear. We hypothesized that modification of leaf size within species resulting from differences in irradiance can allow leaves to acclimate to different photosynthetic or evaporative conditions while maintaining an efficient balance between hydraulic supply (vein density) and evaporative demand. To test this, we compared the function and anatomy of leaf hydraulic systems in the leaves of a woody angiosperm (Toona ciliata M. Roem.) grown under high and low irradiance in controlled conditions. Our results confirm that in this species, differential leaf expansion regulates the density of veins and stomata such that leaf hydraulic conductance and stomatal conductance remain proportional. A broader sample of field-grown tree species suggested that differences in leaf venation and stomatal traits induced by sun and shade were not regulated by leaf size in all cases. Our results, however, suggest that leaf size plasticity can provide an efficient way for plants to acclimate hydraulic and stomatal conductances to the contrasting evaporative conditions of sun and shade.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:high irradiance, leaf hydraulic conductance, leaf size, low irradiance, stomatal conductance, stomatal density, vein density
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant developmental and reproductive biology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Carins Murphy, MR (Miss Madeline Carins-Murphy)
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
UTAS Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
ID Code:80120
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:105
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2012-10-23
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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