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The veins that irrigate leaves during photosynthesis are demonstrated to be strikingly more abundant in flowering plants than in any other vascular plant lineage. Angiosperm vein densities average 8 mm of vein per mm(2) of leaf area and can reach 25 mm mm(-2), whereas such high densities are absent from all other plants, living or extinct. Leaves of(More)
Single-vein leaves have the simplest hydraulic design possible, yet even this linear water delivery system can be modulated to improve physiological performance. We determined the optimal distribution of transport capacity that minimizes pressure drop per given investment in xylem permeability along the needle for a given length without a change in total(More)
The main role of leaf venation is to supply water across the photosynthetic surface to keep stomata open and allow access to atmospheric CO2 despite evaporative demand. The optimal uniform delivery of water occurs when the distance between veins equals the depth of vein placement within the leaf away from the evaporative surface. As presented here, only(More)
Angiosperm leaves manifest a remarkable diversity of shapes that range from developmental sequences within a shoot and within crown response to microenvironment to variation among species within and between communities and among orders or families. It is generally assumed that because photosynthetic leaves are critical to plant growth and survival,(More)
Declining CO(2) over the Cretaceous has been suggested as an evolutionary driver of the high leaf vein densities (7-28 mm mm(-2)) that are unique to the angiosperms throughout all of Earth history. Photosynthetic modeling indicated the link between high vein density and productivity documented in the modern low-CO(2) regime would be lost as CO(2)(More)
Although a variety of leaf characteristics appear to be induced by light environment during development, analysis of ontogenetic changes in living broad leaved trees has suggested that a number of other traits also lumped into the classic 'sun' versus 'shade' morphological distinctions, including leaf size, shape, and vein density, are instead controlled(More)
Contrary to what might be expected from the observation of extant plants alone, the fossil record indicates that most aspects of vascular plant form evolved multiple times during their Paleozoic radiation. Opportunity is increasing to unite information from fossil and living plants to understand the evolution of developmental mechanisms and each field can(More)
In vascular plants, the polysaccharide-based walls of water-conducting cells are strengthened by impregnation with the polyphenolic polymer lignin. The fine-scale patterning of lignin deposition in water-conducting cells is shown here to vary phylogenetically across vascular plants. The extent to which water transport in xylem cells can be modified in(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Morphological diversity of leaves is usually quantified with geometrical characters, while in many cases a simple set of biophysical parameters are involved in constraining size and shape. One of the main physiological functions of the leaf is transpiration and thus one can expect that leaf hydraulic parameters can be used to predict(More)
Movement of water from soil to atmosphere by plant transpiration can feed precipitation, but is limited by the hydraulic capacities of plants, which have not been uniform through time. The flowering plants that dominate modern vegetation possess transpiration capacities that are dramatically higher than any other plants, living or extinct. Transpiration(More)