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  Apparent overinvestment in leaf venation relaxes leaf morphological constraints on photosynthesis in arid habitats

de Boer, H. J., Drake, P. L., Wendt, E., Price, C. A., Schulze, E. D., Turner, N. C., et al. (2016). Apparent overinvestment in leaf venation relaxes leaf morphological constraints on photosynthesis in arid habitats. Plant Physiology, 172(4), 2286-2299. doi:10.1104/pp.16.01313.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-5477-C Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-9C42-7
Genre: Journal Article

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.16.01313 (Publisher version)
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 Creators:
de Boer, Hugo J., Author
Drake, Paul L., Author
Wendt, Erin, Author
Price, Charles A., Author
Schulze, Ernst Detlef1, Author              
Turner, Neil C., Author
Nicolle, Dean, Author
Veneklaas, Erik J., Author
Affiliations:
1Emeritus Group, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society, escidoc:1497756              

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 Abstract: Leaf veins supply the mesophyll with water that evaporates when stomata are open to allow CO2 uptake for photosynthesis. Theoretical analyses suggest that water is optimally distributed in the mesophyll when the lateral distance between veins (dx) is equal to the distance from these veins to the epidermis (dy), expressed as dx:dy 1. Although this theory is supported by observations of many derived angiosperms, we hypothesize that plants in arid environments may reduce dx:dy below unity owing to climate-specific functional adaptations of increased leaf thickness and increased vein density. To test our hypothesis, we assembled leaf hydraulic, morphological, and photosynthetic traits of 68 species from the Eucalyptus and Corymbia genera (termed eucalypts) along an aridity gradient in southwestern Australia. We inferred the potential gas-exchange advantage of reducing dx beyond dy using a model that links leaf morphology and hydraulics to photosynthesis. Our observations reveal that eucalypts in arid environments have thick amphistomatous leaves with high vein densities, resulting in dx:dy ratios that range from 1.6 to 0.15 along the aridity gradient. Our model suggests that, as leaves become thicker, the effect of reducing dx beyond dy is to offset the reduction in leaf gas exchange that would result from maintaining dx:dy at unity. This apparent overinvestment in leaf venation may be explained from the selective pressure of aridity, under which traits associated with long leaf life span, high hydraulic and thermal capacitances, and high potential rates of leaf water transport confer a competitive advantage.

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 Dates: 2016-122016
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: Other: BGC2594
DOI: 10.1104/pp.16.01313
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Title: Plant Physiology
  Other : Plant Physiol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Bethesda, Md. : American Society of Plant Biologists
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 172 (4) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 2286 - 2299 Identifier: ISSN: 0032-0889
CoNE: http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/991042744294438