Hydraulic architecture and water relations of several species at diverse sites around Sydney

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Journal Article
Australian Journal of Botany, 2004, 52 (4), pp. 509 - 518
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Seasonal comparisons of leaf water potential, root biomass, hydraulic architecture, xylem embolism and xylem dimensions were made for eight woody species in four diverse habitats (mangroves, coastal heathland, ridge-top woodland and river-flat woodland). In most comparisons, pre-dawn and minimum leaf water potentials were lower in winter than in summer, a result attributed to lower rainfall and a smaller root biomass in winter than in summer. Branch hydraulic conductivities (per unit transverse area, sapwood area or leaf area) were generally larger in summer than in winter across all species in all habitats. An inverse relationship between Huber value and conductivity was observed across all four habitats. Increased solar radiation and evaporative demand in the summer was associated with an increased percentage loss of xylem conductance arising from embolism, compared with winter. These results are discussed in the context of patterns and relationships among water relations, microclimate and hydraulic architecture.
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