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Changes in leaf hydraulic conductance during leaf shedding in seasonally dry tropical forest


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Brodribb, TJ and Holbrook, NM (2003) Changes in leaf hydraulic conductance during leaf shedding in seasonally dry tropical forest. New Phytologist, 158 (2). pp. 295-303. ISSN 0028-646X

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• The hydraulic conductance of leaves ( k leaf ) was examined to determine whether this little understood component of the water transport pathway plays a role in governing leaf phenology of two deciduous dry forest trees ( Calycophyllum candidissimum and Rhedera trinervis ). • k leaf was monitored in parallel with stem hydraulic conductivity (K stem ) during the transition from wet to dry season. The relationships between declining photosynthetic quantum yield during senescence and declining k leaf and K stem were compared. • Divergent patterns were observed in the response of K stem to seasonal drying; however, the behaviour of k leaf was essentially similar in both species. Large (five- to ten-fold) decreases in leaf hydraulic conductance occurred before, and during the later stages of leaf senescence. During senescence, declining k leaf , which continued until leaves were ultimately shed, was associated with a concomitant decline in quantum yield. • We conclude that, in these species, the loss of hydraulic conductance of the leaf vascular system is linked to, and possibly responsible for, the loss of photosynthetic capacity during leaf senescence.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: New Phytologist
Page Range: pp. 295-303
ISSN: 0028-646X
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1046/j.1469-8137.2003.00736.x
Additional Information: The definitive version is available at
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2007 03:29
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:25
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