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Wood anatomy and plant hydraulics in a changing climateAuthor(s): William R.L. Anderegg; Frederick C. Meinzer
Source: U. Hacke, ed. Functional and ecological xylem anatomy. Springer International Publishing Switzerland: 235-253. Chapter 9.
Publication Series: Book Chapter
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionDue to their hydraulic system that allows them to transport water from the soil to leaves, woody plants have become incredibly successful in terrestrial ecosystems since their evolution ~400 million years ago (Hartmann 2011). This vascular system lets trees conduct water from the soil up to more than 100 m (Koch et al. 2004), allowing trees to compete for light and absorb several petagrams of carbon from the atmosphere via photosynthesis every year (Le Quéré et al. 2009). Thus, plant hydraulics form the “backbone” of most terrestrial ecosystems, facilitating net primary production and carbon sequestration by the biosphere (Brodribb 2009). The carbon sequestration of global forests alone is estimated at roughly 2.5 Pg carbon, equivalent to 25 % of anthropogenic carbon emissions in 2010 (Pan et al. 2011). Similarly, vascular transport plays a major role in the global hydrological water recycling that drives upwards of 80 % of evapotranspiration over land, influencing global circulation and precipitation patterns (Jasechko et al. 2013). Hydraulic architecture comprises part of an integrated set of traits and life history trade-offs that allow woody plants to colonize diverse environments, compete, and coexist. Wood anatomy plays a central role in plant hydraulic strategies due to the inherent trade-offs associated with partitioning of wood volume between water transport and structural support functions and a fixed pool of carbon and energy that can be allocated across growth, fecundity, tissue maintenance, and tissue repair (Chave et al. 2009; Domec et al. 2008). Maximizing fitness is thought to involve
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CitationAnderegg, William R.L.; Meinzer, Frederick C. 2015. Wood anatomy and plant hydraulics in a changing climate. In: U. Hacke (ed.), Functional and ecological xylem anatomy. Springer International Publishing Switzerland: 235-253. Chapter 9.
KeywordsDrought, plant-water relations, tree mortality
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