Browsing by Subject "LEAF GAS-EXCHANGE"

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  • Salmon, Yann; Torres-Ruiz, Jose M.; Poyatos, Rafael; Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi; Meir, Patrick; Cochard, Herve; Mencuccini, Maurizio (2015)
    Understanding physiological processes involved in drought-induced mortality is important for predicting the future of forests and for modelling the carbon and water cycles. Recent research has highlighted the variable risks of carbon starvation and hydraulic failure in drought-exposed trees. However, little is known about the specific responses of leaves and supporting twigs, despite their critical role in balancing carbon acquisition and water loss. Comparing healthy (non-defoliated) and unhealthy (defoliated) Scots pine at the same site, we measured the physiological variables involved in regulating carbon and water resources. Defoliated trees showed different responses to summer drought compared with non-defoliated trees. Defoliated trees maintained gas exchange while non-defoliated trees reduced photosynthesis and transpiration during the drought period. At the branch scale, very few differences were observed in non-structural carbohydrate concentrations between health classes. However, defoliated trees tended to have lower water potentials and smaller hydraulic safety margins. While non-defoliated trees showed a typical response to drought for an isohydric species, the physiology appears to be driven in defoliated trees by the need to maintain carbon resources in twigs. These responses put defoliated trees at higher risk of branch hydraulic failure and help explain the interaction between carbon starvation and hydraulic failure in dying trees.
  • Paljakka, Teemu; Jyske, Tuula; Lintunen, Anna; Aaltonen, Heidi; Nikinmaa, Eero; Hölttä, Teemu (2017)
    Preconditions of phloem transport in conifers are relatively unknown. We studied the variation of needle and inner bark axial osmotic gradients and xylem water potential in Scots pine and Norway spruce by measuring needle and inner bark osmolality in saplings and mature trees over several periods within a growing season. The needle and inner bark osmolality was strongly related to xylem water potential in all studied trees. Sugar concentrations were measured in Scots pine, and they had similar dynamics to inner bark osmolality. The sucrose quantity remained fairly constant over time and position, whereas the other sugars exhibited a larger change with time and position. A small osmotic gradient existed from branch to stem base under pre-dawn conditions, and the osmotic gradient between upper stem and stem base was close to zero. The turgor in branches was significantly driven by xylem water potential, and the turgor loss point in branches was relatively close to daily minimum needle water potentials typically reported for Scots pine. Our results imply that xylem water potential considerably impacts the turgor pressure gradient driving phloem transport and that gravitation has a relatively large role in phloem transport in the stems of mature Scots pine trees.