Hydraulic and Leaf Economics of Woody Plants of the Tropical Environment

Maria das Graças Santos das Chagas, Rejane Magalhães de Mendonça Pimentel, Luiz Henrique Gonçalves da Silva


Leaf photosynthesis and hydraulic traits are closely related to the maintenance of the plants, especially in tropical environments. There is scarce information about the xylem structure and hydraulic efficiency in tropical species, mainly considering the leaf. Environmental changes influence the species performance, conditioning differences of anatomical traits and functional efficiency of xylem cells related to the water flow inside the plant. The hydraulic conductivity and the theoretical leaf-specific conductivity allow estimating the xylem cells flow and inform about the efficiency of the water transport inside the plant. The relation among leaf biometry and anatomic/hydraulic characteristics of the xylem cells of leaves with different stages of growth, of five woody species from the tropical environment, was evaluated. Differences among leaves of different ages and species indicate to be responsible for the anatomical traits variations. The xylem hydraulic traits indicate a greater or smaller efficiency in leaves water transport and are related to the species. The hydraulic and structural differences indicate an adaptation to higher efficiency in water transport in leaves related to the prevailing environmental conditions during the leaf development.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26848/rbgf.v11.3.p826-834

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Revista Brasileira de Geografia Física - ISSN: 1984-2295

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