Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 504270
Title Functional ratios among leaf, xylem and phloem areas in branches change with shade tolerance, but not with local light conditions, across temperate tree species
Author(s) Zhang, Lan; Copini, Paul; Weemstra, Monique; Sterck, Frank
Source New Phytologist 209 (2016)4. - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 1566 - 1575.
Department(s) Forest Ecology and Forest Management
Alterra - Vegetation, forest and landscape ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Biomass allocation - Functional ratios - Leaf area - Phloem area - Ray parenchyma - Shade tolerance - Tree - Xylem area

Leaf, xylem and phloem areas drive the water and carbon fluxes within branches and trees, but their mutual coordination is poorly understood. We test the hypothesis that xylem and phloem areas increase relative to leaf area when species are selected for, or branches are exposed to, higher levels of light intensity. Trees of 10 temperate, broadleaved and deciduous, tree species were selected. Fifty-centimetre-long branches were collected from shaded and exposed conditions at a height of 3-4 m. We measured the total leaf area, xylem area, phloem area and leaf traits, as well as the area of the constituent cell types, for a stem section at the branch base. Xylem area : leaf area and phloem area : leaf area ratios did not differ consistently between sun and shade branches, but, as expected, they decreased with species' shade tolerance. Similar trends were observed for conductive cell areas in xylem and phloem. Trees of light-demanding species maintain higher water loss and carbon gain rates per leaf area by producing more xylem area and phloem area than shade-tolerant species. We call for more comparative branch studies as they provide an integrated biological perspective on functional traits and their role in the ecology of tree species.

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