Journal Article

Correlations between stable carbon-isotope abundance and hydraulic conductivity in Douglas-fir across a climate gradient in Oregon, USA

Jeanne A. Panek

in Tree Physiology

Volume 16, issue 9, pages 747-755
Published in print September 1996 | ISSN: 0829-318X
e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/16.9.747
Correlations between stable carbon-isotope abundance and hydraulic conductivity in Douglas-fir across a climate gradient in Oregon, USA

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Stomatal conductance in trees is related to both foliar carbon-isotope abundance and stem hydraulic properties. By combining these relationships, I hypothesized that carbon-isotope abundance in foliage should vary with limitations to water movement through supporting branches. I sampled Douglas-fir branches (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) from six sites across a climate gradient in Oregon, USA for foliar carbon-isotope abundance and stem hydraulic properties. I used a forest growth model to quantify climate-induced stomatal limitations, expressed as reduced potential transpiration, across the gradient. Foliar stable carbon-isotope abundance showed a strong inverse relationship with branch specific conductivity (hydraulic conductivity per unit functional sapwood area) and leaf-specific conductivity (hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf area). Foliar stable carbon-isotope abundance was correlated with modeled reductions in potential transpiration; however, the inclusion of leaf-specific conductivity improved the correlation by more than 30%. Combined, leaf-specific conductivity and climate-induced stomatal constraints explained 84% of the variation in foliar isotope abundance in 1994 foliage. This model was confirmed on foliage classes 1990–1993.

Keywords: cavitation; climate stress; leaf-specific conductivity; stomatal conductance; transpiration

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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