Testing the plant pneumatic method to estimate xylem embolism resistance in stems of temperate trees

2018 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Testing the plant pneumatic method to estimate xylem embolism resistance in stems of temperate trees​
Zhang, Y.; Lamarque, L. J.; Torres-Ruiz, J. M.; Schuldt, B.; Karimi, Z.; Li, S. & Qin, D.-W. et al.​ (2018) 
Tree Physiology38(7) pp. 1016​-1025​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpy015 

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Zhang, Ya; Lamarque, Laurent J.; Torres-Ruiz, José M.; Schuldt, Bernhard; Karimi, Zohreh; Li, Shan; Qin, De-Wen; Bittencourt, Paulo; Burlett, Régis; Cao, Kun-Fang; Delzon, Sylvain; Oliveira, Rafael; Pereira, Luciano; Jansen, Steven
Methods to estimate xylem embolism resistance generally rely on hydraulic measurements, which can be far from straightforward. Recently, a pneumatic method based on air flow measurements of terminal branch ends was proposed to construct vulnerability curves by linking the amount of air extracted from a branch with the degree of embolism. We applied this novel technique for 10 temperate tree species, including six diffuse, two ring-porous and two gymnosperm species, and compared the pneumatic curves with hydraulic ones obtained from either the flow-centrifuge or the hydraulic-bench dehydration method. We found that the pneumatic method provides a good estimate of the degree of xylem embolism for all angiosperm species. The xylem pressure at 50% and 88% loss of hydraulic conductivity (i.e., Ψ50 and Ψ88) based on the methods applied showed a strongly significant correlation for all eight angiosperms. However, the pneumatic method showed significantly reduced Ψ50 values for the two conifers. Our findings suggest that the pneumatic method could provide a fast and accurate approach for angiosperms due to its convenience and feasibility, at least within the range of embolism resistances covered by our samples.
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Tree Physiology 
Albrecht-von-Haller-Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften 



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