Xylem embolism in leaves does not occur with open stomata: evidence from direct observations using the optical visualisation technique

Abstract : Drought represents a major abiotic constraint to plant growth and survival. On one hand, plants keep stomata open for efficient carbon assimilation, while on the other hand, they close them to prevent permanent hydraulic impairment from xylem embolism. The order of occurrence of these two processes (stomatal closure and the onset of leaf embolism) throughout plant dehydration has remained controversial, largely due to methodological limitations. However, the newly developed Optical Visualisation (OV) method now allows simultaneous monitoring of stomatal behaviour and leaf embolism formation in intact plants. We used this new approach directly by dehydrating intact saplings of three contrasting tree species and indirectly by conducting a literature survey across a greater range of plant taxa. Our results indicate that increasing water stress generates the onset of leaf embolism consistently after stomatal closure, and that the lag time between these processes (i.e. the safety margin) increases with increasing embolism resistance. This suggests that during water stress, embolism-mediated declines in leaf hydraulic conductivity are unlikely to act as a signal for stomatal down-regulation. Instead, plants converge towards a strategy of closing stomata early to prevent water loss and delay catastrophic xylem dysfunction.
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Poster communications
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02307760
Contributor : Archive Ouverte Prodinra <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 7, 2019 - 8:08:29 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 1:28:10 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02307760, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 485316

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Danielle Creek, Laurent Lamarque, Jose Torres Ruiz, Camille Parise, Régis Burlett, et al.. Xylem embolism in leaves does not occur with open stomata: evidence from direct observations using the optical visualisation technique. 4th Xylem International Meeting, Sep 2019, Padoue, Italy. Univ. Degli Studi Di Padova, pp.84, 2019. ⟨hal-02307760⟩

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