University Of Tasmania

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Two measures of leaf capacitance: insights into the water transport pathway and hydraulic conductance in leaves

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 07:09 authored by Christopher BlackmanChristopher Blackman, Timothy BrodribbTimothy Brodribb
The efficiency and stress tolerance of leaf water transport are key indicators of plant function, but our ability to assess these processes is constrained by gaps in our understanding of the water transport pathway in leaves.Amajor challenge is to understand how different pools of water in leaves are connected to the transpiration stream and, hence, determine leaf capacitance (Cleaf) to short- and medium-term fluctuations in transpiration. Here, we examine variation across an anatomically and phylogenetically diverse group of woody angiosperms in two measures of Cleaf assumed to represent bulk-leaf capacitance (Cbulk) and the capacitance of leaf tissues that influence dynamic changes in leaf hydration (Cdyn). Among species, Cbulk was significantly correlated with leaf mass per unit area, whereas Cdyn was independently related to leaf lignin content (%) and the saturated mass of leaf water per unit dry weight. Dynamic and steady-state measurements of leaf hydraulic conductance (Kleaf) agreed if Cdyn was used rather than Cbulk, suggesting that the leaf tissue in some species is hydraulically compartmentalised and that only a proportion of total leaf water is hydraulically well connected to the transpiration stream. These results indicate that leaf rehydration kinetics can accurately measure Kleaf with knowledge of the capacitance of the hydraulic pathway.


Publication title

Functional Plant Biology: An International Journal of Plant Function








School of Natural Sciences


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Copyright © 2011 CSIRO

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Socio-economic Objectives

Terrestrial biodiversity