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Leaf hydraulic capacity in ferns, conifers and angiosperms: impacts on photosynthetic maxima

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Brodribb, TJ and Holbrook, NM and Zwieniecki, MA and Beatriz, P (2005) Leaf hydraulic capacity in ferns, conifers and angiosperms: impacts on photosynthetic maxima. New Phytologist, 165 (3). pp. 839-846. ISSN 0028-646X

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Abstract

The hydraulic plumbing of vascular plant leaves varies considerably between major
plant groups both in the spatial organization of veins, as well as their anatomical
structure.
Five conifers, three ferns and 12 angiosperm trees were selected from tropical
and temperate forests to investigate whether the profound differences in foliar
morphology of these groups lead to correspondingly profound differences in leaf
hydraulic efficiency.
We found that angiosperm leaves spanned a range of leaf hydraulic conductance
from 3.9 to 36 mmol m
2
s

1
MPa

1
, whereas ferns (5.9–11.4 mmol m

2
s

1
MPa

1
)
and conifers (1.6–9.0 mmol m

2
s

1
MPa

1
) were uniformly less conductive to liquid
water. Leaf hydraulic conductance (K
leaf
) correlated strongly with stomatal conductance
indicating an internal leaf-level regulation of liquid and vapour conductances.
Photosynthetic capacity also increased with K
leaf
, however, it became saturated at
values of K
leaf
over 20 mmol m

2
s

1
MPa

1
.
The data suggest that vessels in the leaves of the angiosperms studied provide
them with the flexibility to produce highly conductive leaves with correspondingly
high photosynthetic capacities relative to tracheid-bearing species.
.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: angiosperms, conifers, ferns, hydraulic conductance, leaf hydraulics, photosynthesis, stomatal coordination.
Journal or Publication Title: New Phytologist
Page Range: pp. 839-846
ISSN: 0028-646X
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2004.01259.x
Additional Information:

"The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com"

Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2007 02:35
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:25
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