Skip to Main Content
Size-dependent mortality in a Neotropical savanna tree: the role of height-related adjustments in hydraulic architecture and carbon allocationAuthor(s): Yong-Jiang Zhang; Frederick C. Meinzer; Guang-You Hao; Fabian G. Scholz; Sandra J. Bucci; Frederico S.C. Takahashi; Randol Villalobos-Vega; Juan P. Giraldo; Kun-Fang Cao; William A. Hoffmann; Guillermo Goldstein
Source: Plant, Cell and Environment. 32: 1456-1466
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
Download Publication (2.22 MB)
DescriptionSize-related changes in hydraulic architecture, carbon allocation, and gas exchange of Sclerolobium paniculatum (Leguminosae), a dominant tree species in Neotropical savannas of central Brazil (Cerrado), were investigated to assess their potential role in the dieback of tall individuals. Trees greater than ~6 m tall exhibited more branch damage, larger numbers of dead individuals, higher wood density, greater leaf mass per area, lower leaf area to sapwood area ratio (LA/SA), lower stomatal conductance, and lower net CO2 assimilation than small trees. Stem-specific hydraulic conductivity decreased, while leaf-specific hydraulic conductivity remained nearly constant, with increasing tree size because of lower LA/SA in larger trees. Leaves were substantially more vulnerable to embolism than stems. Large trees had lower maximum leaf hydraulic conductance (Kleaf) than small trees, and all tree sizes exhibited lower Kleaf at midday than at dawn. These size-related adjustments in hydraulic architecture and carbon allocation apparently incurred a large physiological cost: large trees received a lower return in carbon gain from their investment in stem and leaf biomass compared with small trees. Additionally, large trees may experience more severe water deficits in dry years owing to lower capacity for buffering the effects of hydraulic path-length and soil water deficits.
- Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationZhang, Y.-J.; Meinzer, F.C.; Hao, G.-Y.; Scholz, F.G.; Bucci, S.J.; Takahashi, F.S.C.; Villalobos-Vega, R.; Giraldo, J.P.; Cao, K.-F.; Hoffmann, W.A.; Goldstein, G. 2009. Size-dependent mortality in a Neotropical savanna tree: the role of height-related adjustments in hydraulic architecture and carbon allocation. Plant, Cell and Environment. 32: 1456-1466.
Keywordscarbon balance, hydraulic conductivity, population dynamics, tree dieback, xylem cavitation
- Mechanisms contributing to seasonal homeostasis of minimum leaf water potential and predawn disequilibrium between soil and plant water potential in Neotropical savanna trees.
- Linking nonstructural carbohydrate dynamics to gas exchange and leaf hydraulic behavior in Pinus edulis and Juniperus monosperma
- Integrated responses of hydraulic architecture, water and carbon relations of western hemlock to dwarf mistletoe infection.
XML: View XML