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The molecular functions of several aquaporins are well characterized (e.g., by analysis of aquaporin-expressing Xenopus oocytes). However, their significance in the physiology of water transport in multicellular organisms remains uncertain. The tobacco plasma membrane aquaporin NtAQP1 was used to elucidate this issue. By comparing antisense plants that were(More)
We discuss the relationship between the dynamically changing tension gradients required to move water rapidly through the xylem conduits of plants and the proportion of conduits lost through embolism as a result of water tension. We consider the implications of this relationship to the water relations of trees. We have compiled quantitative data on the(More)
Xylem vessels in grapevines Vitis labrusca L. and Vitis riparia Michx. growing in New England contained air over winter and yet filled with xylem sap and recovered their maximum hydraulic conductance during the month before leaf expansion in late May. During this period root pressures between 10 and 100 kilopascals were measured. Although some air in(More)
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Although patterns of tree species distributions along environmental gradients have been amply documented in tropical forests, mechanisms causing these patterns are seldom known. Efforts to evaluate proposed mechanisms have been hampered by a lack of comparative data on species' reactions to relevant axes of environmental variation. Here we show that(More)
Studies of the desiccation tolerance of the seedlings of five tropical trees were made on potted plants growing in a greenhouse. Pots were watered to field capacity and then dehydrated for 3 to 9 weeks to reach various visual wilting stages, from slightly wilted to dead. Saturated root hydraulic conductance was measured with a high-pressure flowmeter, and(More)
The leaf hydraulic conductance (K(leaf)) is a major determinant of plant water transport capacity. Here, we measured K(leaf), and its basis in the resistances of leaf components, for fully illuminated leaves of five tree species that regenerate in deep shade, and five that regenerate in gaps or clearings, in Panamanian lowland tropical rainforest. We also(More)
A new high pressure flow meter (HPFM) method for measuring plant hydraulic conductances (K) was investigated to examine whether its results are comparable to those from a conventional evaporative flux (EF) method in crops. Hydraulic conductance (K) was measured by the two methods under quasi-steady-state conditions in six crops grown in pots: soybean(More)
The dynamics of growth (shoot and root dry weights, surface areas, hydraulic conductances, and root length) were measured in seedlings of five neotropical tree species aged 4-16 months. The species studied included two light-demanding pioneers (Miconia argentea and Apeiba membranacea) and three shade-tolerant young- or old-forest species (Pouteria(More)