Linking Xylem Hydraulic Conductivity and Vulnerability to the Leaf Economics Spectrum—A Cross-Species Study of 39 Evergreen and Deciduous Broadleaved Subtropical Tree Species

Created at: 2015-02-09

Envisaged journal: Kröber, W., Zhang, S., Ehmig, M., & Bruelheide, H. (2014). Linking Xylem Hydraulic Conductivity and Vulnerability to the Leaf Economics Spectrum—A Cross-Species Study of 39 Evergreen and Deciduous Broadleaved Subtropical Tree Species. PloS one, 9(11), e109211.

Envisaged date: 2014-11-25

Rationale

While the fundamental trade-off in leaf traits related to carbon capture as described by the leaf economics spectrum is well-established among plant species, the relationship of the leaf economics spectrum to stem hydraulics is much less known. Since carbon capture and transpiration are coupled, a close connection between leaf traits and stem hydraulics should be expected. We thus asked whether xylem traits that describe drought tolerance and vulnerability to cavitation are linked to particular leaf traits. We assessed xylem vulnerability, using the pressure sleeve technique, and anatomical xylem characteristics in 39 subtropical tree species grown under common garden conditions in the BEF-China experiment and tested for correlations with traits related to the leaf economics spectrum as well as to stomatal control, including maximum stomatal conductance, vapor pressure deficit at maximum stomatal conductance and vapor pressure deficit at which stomatal conductance is down-regulated. Our results revealed that specific xylem hydraulic conductivity and cavitation resistance were closely linked to traits represented in the leaf economic spectrum, in particular to leaf nitrogen concentration, as well as to log leaf area and leaf carbon to nitrogen ratio but not to any parameter of stomatal conductance. The study highlights the potential use of well-known leaf traits from the leaf economics spectrum to predict plant species' drought resistance.

Datasets

No datasets are linked to this paperproposal.

Calculated Authors

Wenzel Kröber Helge Bruelheide, Prof. Man-Zhi Tan Shouren Zhang

Data request state

Preparation Project Board Finished