Hydraulic traits are more diverse in flowers than in leaves

The New Phytologist
Adam RoddyCraig R Brodersen

Abstract

Maintaining water balance has been a critical constraint shaping the evolution of leaf form and function. However, flowers, which are heterotrophic and relatively short-lived, may not be constrained by the same physiological and developmental factors. We measured physiological parameters derived from pressure-volume curves for leaves and flowers of 22 species to characterize the diversity of hydraulic traits in flowers and to determine whether flowers are governed by the same constraints as leaves. Compared with leaves, flowers had high saturated water content, which was a strong predictor of hydraulic capacitance in both leaves and flowers. Principal component analysis revealed that flowers occupied a different region of multivariate trait space than leaves and that hydraulic traits are more diverse in flowers than in leaves. Without needing to maintain high rates of transpiration, flowers rely on other hydraulic traits, such as high hydraulic capacitance, to maintain turgor pressure. As a result, instead of employing a metabolically expensive but durable carbon (C)-based skeleton, flowers may rely predominantly on a metabolically cheaper, hydrostatic skeleton to keep their structures on display for pollinators, which has impo...Continue Reading

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Citations

Apr 30, 2019·The New Phytologist·Mark E Olson, Jarmila Pittermann
Jul 6, 2019·Plant, Cell & Environment·Katherine A McCullohFrederick C Meinzer
Jul 23, 2020·The New Phytologist·Adam B RoddyFernando A O Silveira
Jan 1, 2020·Global Change Biology·Jens KattgeChristian Wirth
Mar 29, 2021·Global Change Biology·Jonas Kuppler, Martyna M Kotowska
Aug 8, 2021·The New Phytologist·Maria Gabriela BoaventuraTatiana Cornelissen

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