Zeppel, MJB, Anderegg, WRL, Adams, HD, Hudson, P, Cook, A, Rumman, R, Eamus, D, Tissue, DT & Pacala, SW 2019, 'Embolism recovery strategies and nocturnal water loss across species influenced by biogeographic origin.', Ecology and evolution, vol. 9, no. 9, pp. 5348-5361.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Drought-induced tree mortality is expected to increase in future climates with the potential for significant consequences to global carbon, water, and energy cycles. Xylem embolism can accumulate to lethal levels during drought, but species that can refill embolized xylem and recover hydraulic function may be able to avoid mortality. Yet the potential controls of embolism recovery, including cross-biome patterns and plant traits such as nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs), hydraulic traits, and nocturnal stomatal conductance, are unknown. We exposed eight plant species, originating from mesic (tropical and temperate) and semi-arid environments, to drought under ambient and elevated CO2 levels, and assessed recovery from embolism following rewatering. We found a positive association between xylem recovery and NSCs, and, surprisingly, a positive relationship between xylem recovery and nocturnal stomatal conductance. Arid-zone species exhibited greater embolism recovery than mesic zone species. Our results indicate that nighttime stomatal conductance often assumed to be a wasteful use of water, may in fact be a key part of plant drought responses, and contribute to drought survival. Findings suggested distinct biome-specific responses that partially depended on species climate-of-origin precipitation or aridity index, which allowed some species to recover from xylem embolism. These findings provide improved understanding required to predict the response of diverse plant communities to drought. Our results provide a framework for predicting future vegetation shifts in response to climate change.
Gleason, SM, Stephens, AEA, Tozer, WC, Blackman, CJ, Butler, DW, Chang, Y, Cook, AM, Cooke, J, Laws, CA, Rosell, JA, Stuart, SA & Westoby, M 2018, 'Shoot growth of woody trees and shrubs is predicted by maximum plant height and associated traits', FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 247-259.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Blackman, CJ, Gleason, SM, Cook, AM, Chang, Y, Laws, CA & Westoby, M 2018, 'The links between leaf hydraulic vulnerability to drought and key aspects of leaf venation and xylem anatomy among 26 Australian woody angiosperms from contrasting climates', ANNALS OF BOTANY, vol. 122, no. 1, pp. 59-67.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Gleason, SM, Blackman, CJ, Chang, Y, Cook, AM, Laws, CA & Westoby, M 2016, 'Weak coordination among petiole, leaf, vein, and gas-exchange traits across Australian angiosperm species and its possible implications', ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 267-278.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Blackman, CJ, Gleason, SM, Chang, Y, Cook, AM, Laws, C & Westoby, M 2014, 'Leaf hydraulic vulnerability to drought is linked to site water availability across a broad range of species and climates', ANNALS OF BOTANY, vol. 114, no. 3, pp. 435-440.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Gleason, SM, Blackman, CJ, Cook, AM, Laws, CA & Westoby, M 2014, 'Whole-plant capacitance, embolism resistance and slow transpiration rates all contribute to longer desiccation times in woody angiosperms from arid and wet habitats', TREE PHYSIOLOGY, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 275-284.View/Download from: Publisher's site