DOI: 10.1101/461244Nov 3, 2018Paper

Hydraulic traits are more diverse in flowers than in leaves

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Adam RoddyCraig R. Brodersen


The need to maintain water balance has been a critical constraints shaping the evolution of leaf form and function. Vein and stomatal traits have undergone coordinated evolution to maintain water supply and prevent water loss. However, flowers, which are heterotrophic and relatively short-lived, may not be constrained by the same physiological and developmental factors. We measured a variety of physiological parameters derived from pressure-volume curves for leaves and flowers of 22 species from the magnoliids, monocots, and eudicots to determine whether floral hydraulic traits are governed by the same constraints as leaves. The trait the differentiated flowers and leaves the most was the saturated water content, which was a strong predictor of hydraulic capacitance for leaves and flowers. Using principal component analysis, we show that flowers occupied not only a different region of multivariate trait space than leaves but also that hydraulic strategies are more diverse in flowers than their conspecific leaves. These results suggest that relaxing constraints on maintaining high transpiration rates has allowed flowers to rely on other hydraulic traits to maintain turgor, which has important implications for both the costs of r...Continue Reading

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