The Choat Lab

Plant Hydraulics and Water Relations

Featured Article in Plant, Cell and Environment

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Our article “Stem and leaf hydraulic properties are finely coordinated in three tropical rainforest tree species” was featured on the December 2015 cover of Plant, Cell and Environment.

The article (introduced here) investigates the internal coordination of hydraulic parameters in a tropical lowland rainforest. Most of our sampling for this study was done directly from the rainforest canopy using the Daintree Rainforest Observatory‘s canopy crane, which is pictured on the journal cover.

Hydraulic characteristics of rainforest trees. Journal Cover of Plant, Cell and Environment 38, Dec. 2015 Hydraulic characteristics of rainforest trees. Journal Cover of Plant, Cell and Environment 38, Dec. 2015

Cover caption: Canopy crane in the Daintree Rainforest Observatory Research Facility in Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia. Nolf et al. (pp. 2652-2661) studied hydraulic properties of stems and leaves in three native, co-occurring species in this forest. They show that the species used operated at water potentials close to those causing embolism, with only narrow safety margins. However, hydraulic characteristics were finely tuned between leaves and stems such that safety margins were smaller in leaves than in stems. This coordination of hydraulic characteristics makes it more likely that embolisms will occur in leaves, which are more expendable than stems.

Citation: Nolf M., Creek D., Duursma R., Holtum J., Mayr S., Choat B. 2015. Stem and leaf hydraulic properties are finely coordinated in three tropical rain forest tree species. Plant, Cell and Environment. doi:10.1111/pce.12581

The full paper is available in Plant, Cell and Environment and can also be requested on Researchgate.

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