Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (6): 650-658.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0430

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Differences in anatomical structure and hydraulic function of xylem in branches of angiosperms in field and garden habitats

FANG Jing1,2, YE Lin-Feng1,2, CHEN Sen1,2, LU Shi-Tong1,2, PAN Tian-Tian1,2, XIE Jiang-Bo1,2,3, LI Yan1,2,3, WANG Zhong-Yuan1,*()   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou 311300, China
    2College of Forestry and Biotechnology, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou 311300, China
    3State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ürümqi 830011, China
  • Received:2020-12-30 Accepted:2021-04-26 Online:2021-06-20 Published:2021-09-09
  • Contact: WANG Zhong-Yuan
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31770651);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41730638);National Natural Science Foundation of China(31901280)


Aims Water is essential for plant survival and growth. Water availability affects the anatomical structure and hydraulic function of xylem, and finally makes trees form specific acclimating characters. Therefore, comparing the differences of hydraulic function and anatomical structure between plants growing in field and garden habitats, can facilitate a better understanding on the acclimation of plants to water conditions.

Methods We compared hydraulic safety (water potential at 50% loss of conductivity, P50), hydraulic efficiency (specific hydraulic conductivity, Ks) and xylem anatomy (vessel diameter (D), double thickness of vessel wall (T), vessel density (N), xylem density (WD) and thickness-to-span ratio of vessels ((t/b)2)), between field and garden plants of Acer buergerianum, Cyclobalanopsis glauca and Ligustrum lucidum. We also analyzed the differences of the relationship between xylem hydraulic function and anatomical structure in field and garden habitats.

Important findings We found that: 1) The Ks was higher and P50 was lower in field habitat of the three angiosperms, which were related to the larger D and smaller (t/b)2. 2) The intraspecific correlation analysis between Ks and P50 showed that there were no efficiency-safety trade-offs. 3) Intraspecific correlation analysis of anatomical structure and functional traits showed that there was no significant correlation between D and P50; except for L. lucidum in garden habitat, the T and (t/b)2of the other trees was positively correlated with P50. Comparing to garden habitat, plants in field habitat with low water availability or no additional irrigation increased their diameter of vessels to improve water transport efficiency, so as to avoid the decrease of water potential and effectively reduce the potential risk of embolism.

Key words: embolism, cavitation resistance, hydraulic efficiency, xylem anatomy, efficiency-safety trade-off