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Persistent decay of fresh xylem hydraulic conductivity varies with pressure gradient and marks plant responses to injury.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Bonetti, S; Breitenstein, D; Fatichi, S; Domec, J-C; Or, D
Published in: Plant, cell & environment
February 2021

Defining plant hydraulic traits is central to the quantification of ecohydrological processes ranging from land-atmosphere interactions, to tree mortality and water-carbon budgets. A key plant trait is the xylem specific hydraulic conductivity (Kx ), that describes the plant's vascular system capacity to transport water. While xylem's vessels and tracheids are dead upon maturity, the xylem is neither inert nor deadwood, various components of the sapwood and surrounding tissue remaining alive and functional. Moreover, the established definition of Kx assumes linear relations between water flux and pressure gradient by tacitly considering the xylem as a "passive conduit". Here, we re-examine this notion of an inert xylem by systematically characterizing xylem flow in several woody plants using Kx measurements under constant and cyclic pressure gradients. Results show a temporal and pressure gradient dependence of Kx . Additionally, microscopic features in "living branches" are irreversibly modified upon drying of the xylem, thus differentiating the macroscopic definition of Kx for living and dead xylem. The findings highlight the picture of the xylem as a complex and delicate conductive system whose hydraulic behaviour transcends a passive gradient-based flow. The study sheds new light on xylem conceptualization, conductivity measurement protocols, in situ long-distance water transport and ecosystem modelling.

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Published In

Plant, cell & environment

DOI

EISSN

1365-3040

ISSN

0140-7791

Publication Date

February 2021

Volume

44

Issue

2

Start / End Page

371 / 386

Related Subject Headings

  • Xylem
  • Wood
  • Water
  • Trees
  • Plant Vascular Bundle
  • Plant Transpiration
  • Plant Biology & Botany
  • Hydrostatic Pressure
  • Biological Transport
  • 3108 Plant biology
 

Citation

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Bonetti, S., Breitenstein, D., Fatichi, S., Domec, J.-C., & Or, D. (2021). Persistent decay of fresh xylem hydraulic conductivity varies with pressure gradient and marks plant responses to injury. Plant, Cell & Environment, 44(2), 371–386. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.13893
Bonetti, Sara, Daniel Breitenstein, Simone Fatichi, Jean-Christophe Domec, and Dani Or. “Persistent decay of fresh xylem hydraulic conductivity varies with pressure gradient and marks plant responses to injury.Plant, Cell & Environment 44, no. 2 (February 2021): 371–86. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.13893.
Bonetti S, Breitenstein D, Fatichi S, Domec J-C, Or D. Persistent decay of fresh xylem hydraulic conductivity varies with pressure gradient and marks plant responses to injury. Plant, cell & environment. 2021 Feb;44(2):371–86.
Bonetti, Sara, et al. “Persistent decay of fresh xylem hydraulic conductivity varies with pressure gradient and marks plant responses to injury.Plant, Cell & Environment, vol. 44, no. 2, Feb. 2021, pp. 371–86. Epmc, doi:10.1111/pce.13893.
Bonetti S, Breitenstein D, Fatichi S, Domec J-C, Or D. Persistent decay of fresh xylem hydraulic conductivity varies with pressure gradient and marks plant responses to injury. Plant, cell & environment. 2021 Feb;44(2):371–386.
Journal cover image

Published In

Plant, cell & environment

DOI

EISSN

1365-3040

ISSN

0140-7791

Publication Date

February 2021

Volume

44

Issue

2

Start / End Page

371 / 386

Related Subject Headings

  • Xylem
  • Wood
  • Water
  • Trees
  • Plant Vascular Bundle
  • Plant Transpiration
  • Plant Biology & Botany
  • Hydrostatic Pressure
  • Biological Transport
  • 3108 Plant biology