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Balancing the risks of hydraulic failure and carbon starvation: A twig scale analysis in declining Scots pine

Salmon, Yann; Torres-Ruiz, José M.; Poyatos, Rafael; Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi; Meir, Patrick; Cochard, Hervé; Mencuccini, Maurizio

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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...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorSalmon, Yann
dc.contributor.authorTorres-Ruiz, José M.
dc.contributor.authorPoyatos, Rafael
dc.contributor.authorMartinez-Vilalta, Jordi
dc.contributor.authorMeir, Patrick
dc.contributor.authorCochard, Hervé
dc.contributor.authorMencuccini, Maurizio
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:36:13Z
dc.identifier.issn0140-7791
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/76668
dc.description.abstractUnderstanding 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. Understanding the physiological responses of leaves to drought is crucial since they are the site of both photosynthesis and transpiration, and hence play key roles in balancing the risks of carbon starvation and hydraulic failure. Co-occurring healthy and unhealthy Scots pines showed different responses to summer drought: while healthy trees showed a typical response to drought for an isohydric species, atypical physiology in unhealthy trees appears to be driven by the need to maintain carbohydrate availability in needles and twigs. These responses put unhealthy trees at higher risk of branch hydraulic failure and help to explain the interaction between carbon-starvation and hydraulic failure in dying trees.
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
dc.sourcePlant Cell and Environment
dc.titleBalancing the risks of hydraulic failure and carbon starvation: A twig scale analysis in declining Scots pine
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolumePublished Online 27 June 2015
dc.date.issued2015
local.identifier.absfor060208 - Terrestrial Ecology
local.identifier.absfor060705 - Plant Physiology
local.identifier.absfor069902 - Global Change Biology
local.identifier.ariespublicationU3488905xPUB5469
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationSalmon, Yann, University of Edinburgh
local.contributor.affiliationTorres-Ruiz, José M., Université de Bordeaux
local.contributor.affiliationPoyatos, Rafael, Campus de UAB
local.contributor.affiliationMartinez-Vilalta, Jordi, Campus de UAB
local.contributor.affiliationMeir, Patrick, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationCochard, Hervé, Clermont Université
local.contributor.affiliationMencuccini, Maurizio, University of Edinburgh
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.identifier.doi10.1111/pce.12572
dc.date.updated2015-12-11T09:30:36Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84933566417
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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