Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.5 MB)

Title: The blind men and the elephant: the impact of context and scale in evaluating conflicts between plant hydraulic safety and efficiency

Author: Meinzer, Frederick C.; McCulloh, Katherine A.; Lachenbruch, Barbara; Woodruff, David R.; Johnson, Daniel M.;

Date: 2010

Source: Oecologia. 164: 287-296

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Given the fundamental importance of xylem safety and efficiency for plant survival and fitness, it is not surprising that these are among the most commonly studied features of hydraulic architecture. However, much remains to be learned about the nature and universality of conflicts between hydraulic safety and efficiency. Although selection for suites of hydraulic traits that confer adequate plant fitness under given conditions is likely to occur at the organismal level, most studies of hydraulic architecture have been confined to scales smaller than the whole plant, such as small-diameter branches and roots. Here we discuss the impact of the spatial and temporal contexts in which hydraulic traits are studied on the interpretation of their role in maintaining plant hydraulic function. We argue that further advances in understanding the ecological implications of different suites of plant hydraulic traits will be enhanced by adopting an integrated approach that considers variation in hydraulic traits throughout the entire plant, dynamic behavior of water transport, xylem tension and water transport efficiency in intact plants, alternate mechanisms that modulate hydraulic safety and efficiency, and alternate measures of hydraulic safety and safety margins.

Keywords: capacitance, hydraulic architecture, hydraulic conductivity, xylem embolism, xylem vulnerability

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Meinzer, Frederick C.; McCulloh, Katherine A.; Lachenbruch, Barbara; Woodruff, David R.; Johnson, Daniel M. 2010. The blind men and the elephant: the impact of context and scale in evaluating conflicts between plant hydraulic safety and efficiency. Oecologia. 164: 287-296.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.