Journal article

Xylem vessel length and distribution: does analysis method matter? A study using Acacia

Virginia G Williamson, John A Milburn

AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2017

Abstract

Knowledge of xylem vessel length is important for several reasons, including the accurate calculation and comparison of hydraulic conductivity studies in excised stems. Vessel length data and distributions are also relevant in some anatomical, ecological, evolutionary, pathological and compatible hydraulic studies. However, determining vessel length is tedious, so is often either avoided or undertaken arbitrarily in hydraulic conductivity studies. We examined four injection media (paints and inks) under transmission electron microscopy to ascertain which was most suitable for determining vessel length. Hunt’s Speedball India ink, with evenly distributed, uniform spherical carbon particles ..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Drs P. Laplagne and A. Hamilton for useful discussions on vessel length analysis, Dr C. Szota and Professor S. Arndt for critically reviewing the manuscript, and Professor C. Young for an informative discussion on particle sizes. We also thank an anonymous reviewer for their useful suggestions. VGW was the recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Research Award. The authors declare that there were no conflicts of interest.