Links between leaf venation and xylem anatomy to leaf hydraulic vulnerability

The structural properties of leaf venation and xylem anatomy strongly influence leaf hydraulics, including the ability of leaves to maintain hydraulic function during drought. Blackman and colleagues examined the strength of the links between different leaf venation traits and leaf hydraulic vulnerability to drought (expressed as P50 leaf by rehydration kinetics) in a diverse group of 26 woody angiosperm species, representing a wide range of leaf vulnerabilities, from four low-nutrient sites with contrasting rainfall across eastern Australia. For each species they measured key aspects of leaf venation design, xylem anatomy and leaf morphology. They also assessed for the first time the...

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