Journal article

Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation of functional traits influences intra-specific variation in hydraulic efficiency and safety

Carola Pritzkow, Virginia Williamson, Christopher Szota, Raphael Trouve, Stefan K Arndt

Tree Physiology | OXFORD UNIV PRESS | Published : 2020


Understanding which hydraulic traits are under genetic control and/or are phenotypically plastic is essential in understanding how tree species will respond to rapid shifts in climate. We quantified hydraulic traits in Eucalyptus obliqua across a precipitation gradient in the field to describe: 1) trait variation in relation to long-term climate and 2) the short-term (seasonal) ability of traits to adjust (i.e., phenotypic plasticity). Seedlings from each field population were raised under controlled conditions to assess: 3) which traits are under strong genetic control. In the field, drier populations had smaller leaves with anatomically thicker xylem vessel walls, a lower leaf hydraulic vu..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We wish to thank G. Sanders for technical assistance and T. P. Netherway for assistance in the field. We are grateful to C. Farrell, L. Parker and J. Thom for their valuable comments on the manuscript. The research was financed by Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment & the Ecological Society of Australia and Madeleine Selwyn-Smith Memorial Fund Scholarship.