Journal Article

Xylem vulnerability to cavitation varies among poplar and willow clones and correlates with yield

Hervé Cochard, Eric Casella and Maurizio Mencuccini

in Tree Physiology

Volume 27, issue 12, pages 1761-1767
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online December 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/27.12.1761
Xylem vulnerability to cavitation varies among poplar and willow clones and correlates with yield

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Xylem vulnerability to cavitation is a promising criterion for identifying trees with high drought tolerance, but traditional techniques for measuring cavitation resistance are unsuitable for screening large numbers of genotypes. We tested the potential of the new Cavitron technique for high throughput screening of cavitation resistance in five poplar (Populus spp.) and four willow (Salix spp.) clones. The Cavitron technique enabled the screening of three to four clones per day with sufficient accuracy to reveal significant differences between clones. Because intraspecific screening may be better carried out through the identification of correlated and more easily measured traits, we attempted to identify accessible parameters that correlate to cavitation resistance. Variability in vulnerability to cavitation across clones was poorly correlated with anatomical traits such as vessel diameter, vessel wall strength, wood density and fiber wall thickness; however, a striking correlation was established between cavitation resistance and aboveground biomass production, indicating a possible trade-off between xylem safety and growth potential.

Keywords: drought resistance; embolism; genotypic variability; xylem physiology

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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