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Leaf physiology does not predict leaf habit; examples from tropical dry forest


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Brodribb, TJ and Holbrook, NM 2005 , 'Leaf physiology does not predict leaf habit; examples from tropical dry forest' , Trees -Structure and Function, vol. 19 , pp. 290-295 , doi: 10.1007/s00468-004-0390-3.

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Leaf structure and physiology are thought to be
closely linked to leaf longevity and leaf habit. Here we compare
the seasonal variation in leaf hydraulic conductance
(kleaf ) andwater potential of two evergreen tree species with
contrasting leaf life spans, and two species with similar
leaf longevity but contrasting leaf habit, one being deciduous
and the other evergreen. One of the evergreen species,
Simarouba glauca, produced relatively short-lived leaves
that maintained high hydraulic conductance year round by
periodic flushing. The other evergreen species, Quercus
oleoides, produced longer-lived leaves with lower kleaf and
as a result minimum leaf water potential was much lower
than in S. glauca (−2.8 MPa vs −1.6 MPa). Associated
with exposure to lower water potentials, Q. oleoides leaves
were harder, had a higher modulus of elasticity, and were
less vulnerable to cavitation than S. glauca leaves. Both
species operate at water potentials capable of inducing 20
(S. glauca) to 50% (Q. oleoides) loss of kleaf during the
dry season although no evidence of cumulative losses in
kleaf were observed in either species suggesting regular repair
of embolisms. Leaf longevity in the deciduous species
Rhedera trinervis is similar to that of S. glauca, although
maximum kleaf was lower. Furthermore, a decline in leaf
water potential at the onset of the dry season led to cumulative
losses in kleaf in R. trinervis that culminated in leaf

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Brodribb, TJ and Holbrook, NM
Keywords: Embolism . Leaf hydraulic conductance . Leaf water potential . Phenology . Tropical dry forest
Journal or Publication Title: Trees -Structure and Function
ISSN: 0931-1890
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s00468-004-0390-3
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