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Stem hydraulic traits and leaf water-stress tolerance are co-ordinated with the leaf phenology of angiosperm trees in an Asian tropical dry karst forest

Citation

Fu, PL and Jiang, YJ and Wang, AY and Brodribb, TJ and Zhang, JL and Zhu, SD and Cao, KF, Stem hydraulic traits and leaf water-stress tolerance are co-ordinated with the leaf phenology of angiosperm trees in an Asian tropical dry karst forest, Annals of Botany, 110, (1) pp. 189-199. ISSN 0305-7364 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 The authors.

DOI: doi:10.1093/aob/mcs092

Abstract

Background and Aims: The co-occurring of evergreen and deciduous angiosperm trees in Asian tropical dry forests on karst substrates suggests the existence of different water-use strategies among species. In this study it is hypothesized that the co-occurring evergreen and deciduous trees differ in stem hydraulic traits and leaf water relationships, and there will be correlated evolution in drought tolerance between leaves and stems.

Methods: A comparison was made of stem hydraulic conductivity, vulnerability curves, wood anatomy, leaf life span, leaf pressure–volume characteristics and photosynthetic capacity of six evergreen and six deciduous tree species co-occurring in a tropical dry karst forest in south-west China. The correlated evolution of leaf and stem traits was examined using both traditional and phylogenetic independent contrasts correlations.

Key Results: It was found that the deciduous trees had higher stem hydraulic efficiency, greater hydraulically weighted vessel diameter (Dh) and higher mass-based photosynthetic rate (Am); while the evergreen species had greater xylem-cavitation resistance, lower leaf turgor-loss point water potential (π0) and higher bulk modulus of elasticity. There were evolutionary correlations between leaf life span and stem hydraulic efficiency, Am, and dry season π0. Xylem-cavitation resistance was evolutionarily correlated with stem hydraulic efficiency, Dh, as well as dry season π0. Both wood density and leaf density were closely correlated with leaf water-stress tolerance and Am.

Conclusions: The results reveal the clear distinctions in stem hydraulic traits and leaf water-stress tolerance between the co-occurring evergreen and deciduous angiosperm trees in an Asian dry karst forest. A novel pattern was demonstrated linking leaf longevity with stem hydraulic efficiency and leaf water-stress tolerance. The results show the correlated evolution in drought tolerance between stems and leaves.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seasonally deciduous xylem
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
Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
ID Code:82462
Year Published:2012
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP120101686)
Web of Science® Times Cited:41
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2013-02-04
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:0

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