Network properties affect plant function and its scaling in the hydraulic soil-plant-atmosphere continuum
Martin Bouda, Ph.D.
(Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Pruhonice)
One of the key limitations on plant growth is their ability to obtain soil water and deliver it to the leaf to sustain transpiration. The tortuous path of water through the plant is influenced by the network properties of water conduits in plant tissues and organs at multiple scales. This presentation will survey the effects of these network properties at multiple scales and show how network structure often determines the scaling of plant hydraulic function. At tissue scale, it can be shown that angiosperm vessel network properties constrain possible xylem construction strategies. At organism scale, since root plant water uptake efficiency responds to root network topology, the classical monocot rooting habit may represent a response to the loss of secondary xylem growth. Finally, I will discuss ongoing work to conceptualise the dissipation of water potential gradients within the soil-plant system with effects on soil moisture and latent heat flux at larger scales.
Invitation to the talk HERE.