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Stomatal protection against hydraulic failure: a comparison of coexisting ferns and angiosperms
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• Hydraulic characteristics of pteridophyte (fern and
) foliage were investigated
to determine whether the processes of water conduction and water loss are
coordinated in these early vascular plants similarly to angiosperms.
• Eight species of pteridophytes and associated woody angiosperms were examined
from the sun and shade in a seasonally dry tropical forest.
• Maximum leaf hydraulic conductivity (
) in the four pteridophytes was within
the range of the sampled shade angiosperms but much lower than that of the sundwelling
angiosperms. Hydraulic conductivity of both angiosperm and pteridophyte
leaves showed a similar response to desiccation, with
becoming rapidly depressed
once leaf water potential fell below a threshold. Stomatal closure in angiosperms
corresponded closely with the water potential responsible for 50% loss of
pteridophytes were found to close stomata before
• The contrasting behaviour of stomata in this sample of pteridophytes suggest that
this may be an intrinsic difference between pteridophytes and angiosperms, with
lower safety margins in angiosperms possibly enhancing both optimization of gas
exchange and xylem investment.
|Keywords:||leaf hydraulics, cavitation, stomatal closure, ferns, stomatal optimization, vulnerability, leaf xylem.|
|Journal or Publication Title:||New Phytologist|
|Page Range:||pp. 663-670|
|Identification Number - DOI:||10.1111/j.1469-8137.2004.01060.x|
"The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com"
|Date Deposited:||29 Nov 2007 22:13|
|Last Modified:||18 Nov 2014 03:25|
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