The limits to tree height

@article{Koch2004TheLT,
  title={The limits to tree height},
  author={George W. Koch and Stephen C. Sillett and Gregory M. Jennings and Stephen D. Davis},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2004},
  volume={428},
  pages={851-854}
}
Trees grow tall where resources are abundant, stresses are minor, and competition for light places a premium on height growth. The height to which trees can grow and the biophysical determinants of maximum height are poorly understood. Some models predict heights of up to 120 m in the absence of mechanical damage, but there are historical accounts of taller trees. Current hypotheses of height limitation focus on increasing water transport constraints in taller trees and the resulting reductions… 

The hydraulic limitation hypothesis revisited.

It is concluded that hydraulic limitation of gas exchange with increasing tree size is common, but not universal, and any limit to height or height growth does not appear to be related to the so-called age-related decline in wood production of forests after canopy closure.

Predicting the limits to tree height using statistical regressions of leaf traits.

This work showed that height predictions were sensitive to tree-to-tree variation in the shape of the regression and to the biophysical endpoints selected, and noted that site and environment influenced height predictions considerably.

Growth maximization trumps maintenance of leaf conductance in the tallest angiosperm

The results support a theoretical model proposing that, in the face of increasing hydraulic constraints with height, whole-tree growth is maximized by a resource trade-off that increases L to maximize light capture rather than by reducing L/S to sustain gs.

Reducing stem bending increases the height growth of tall pines.

Analysis of bending moment and basal area increment showed that the amount of wood added to the stem was closely related to the bending moment produced at these heights, in both control and tethered trees, which strongly suggests that mechanical constraints play a crucial role in limiting the height growth of tall trees.

Pushing the limits to tree height: could foliar water storage compensate for hydraulic constraints in Sequoia sempervirens?

Evidence is shown of foliar water storage as a mechanism that could partially compensate for hydraulic constraints and sustain turgor for both photosynthesis and height growth in Sequoia sempervirens, the tallest species.

Low mortality in tall tropical trees

The findings suggest that height- specific dynamics may be surprisingly different from traditional diameter-specific dynamics, emphasizing the importance of extending ecological studies to investigate the role of tree height in forest dynamics.

Comparative hydraulic and anatomic properties in palm trees (Washingtonia robusta) of varying heights: implications for hydraulic limitation to increased height growth

Findings are consistent with hydraulic compensation in that tall palms may be overcoming the increased path length resistance through smaller, more efficient leaves and lower leaf water potentials than shorter palms.

Hydraulic limitation on maximum height of Pinus strobus trees in northern Minnesota, USA

Key messageUsing comparisons within and between trees, the authors show evidence for hydraulic limitation of tree height in a humid-climate species that is far from the global maximum tree

Effect Of Height On Tree Hydraulic Conductance Incompletely Compensated By Xylem Tapering

The data available for testing this hypothesis are limited, but they do not support the implication that whole-tree and leaf-specific hydraulic conductance are generally independent of tree height, and cannot exclude hydraulic limitation as the principle mechanism for the observed decline in growth.

Tree height effects on vascular anatomy of upper-canopy twigs across a wide range of tropical rainforest species

Vessel diameter variation along the hydraulic pathway determines how much water can be moved against the force of gravity from roots to leaves. While it is well-documented that tree size scales
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