Direct observation and modelling of embolism spread between xylem conduits: a case study in Scots pine - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Plant, Cell and Environment Year : 2016

Direct observation and modelling of embolism spread between xylem conduits: a case study in Scots pine

Abstract

Xylem embolism is one of the main processes involved in drought-related plant mortality. Although its consequences for plant physiology are already well described, embolism formation and spread are poorly evaluated and modelled, especially for tracheid-based species. The aim of this study was to assess the embolism formation and spread in Pinus sylvestris as a case study using X-ray microtomography and hydraulics methods. We also evaluated the potential effects of cavitation fatigue on vulnerability to embolism and the micro-morphology of the bordered pits using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to test for possible links between xylem anatomy and embolism spread. Finally, a novel model was developed to simulate the spread of embolism in a 2D anisotropic cellular structure. Results showed a large variability in the formation and spread of embolism within a ring despite no differences being observed in intertracheid pit membrane anatomical traits. Simulations from the model showed a highly anisotropic tracheid-to-tracheid embolism spreading pattern, which confirms the major role of tracheid-to-tracheid air seeding to explain how embolism spreads in Scots pine. The results also showed that prior embolism removal from the samples reduced the resistance to embolism of the xylem and could result in overestimates of vulnerability to embolism.
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hal-01512094 , version 1 (21-04-2017)

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Jose Manuel Torres Ruiz, Hervé Cochard, Maurizio Mencuccini, Sylvain Delzon, Eric Badel. Direct observation and modelling of embolism spread between xylem conduits: a case study in Scots pine. Plant, Cell and Environment, 2016, 39 (12), pp.2774-2785. ⟨10.1111/pce.12840⟩. ⟨hal-01512094⟩
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