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Hydraulic conductivity of the xylem is computed as the quotient of mass fiow rate and pressure gradient. Measurements on excised plant stems can be difficult to interpret because of time-dependent reductions in fiow rate, and because of variable degrees of embolism. Using Acer saccharum Marsh, stems, we found that certain perfusing solutions including(More)
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)
Many authors have attempted to explain the adaptive response of tropical plants to drought based on studies of water relations at the leaf level. Little attention has been given to the role of the xylem system in the control of plant water requirements. To evaluate this role, we studied the hydraulic architecture and water relations parameters of two(More)