Cavitation fatigue. Embolism and refilling cycles can weaken the cavitation resistance of xylem.
Although cavitation and refilling cycles could be common in plants, it is unknown whether these cycles weaken the cavitation resistance of xylem. Stem or petiole segments were tested for cavitation resistance before and after a controlled cavitation-refilling cycle. Cavitation was induced by centrifugation, air drying of shoots, or soil drought. Except for droughted plants, material was not significantly water stressed prior to collection. Cavitation resistance was determined from "vulnerability curves" showing the percentage loss of conductivity versus xylem pressure. Two responses were observed. "Resilient" xylem (Acer negundo and Alnus incana stems) showed no change in cavitation resistance after a cavitation-refilling cycle. In contrast, "weakened" xylem (Populus angustifolia, P. tremuloides, Helianthus annuus stems, and Aesculus hippocastanum petioles) showed considerable reduction in cavitation resistance. Weakening was observed whether cavitation was induced by centrifugation, air dehydration, or soil drought. Observations from H. annuus showed that weakening was proportional to the embolism induced by stress. Air injection experiments indicated that the weakened response was a result of an increase in the leakiness of the vascular system to air seeding. The increased air permeability in weakened xylem could result from rupture or loosening of the cellulosic mesh of interconduit pit membranes during the water stress and cavitation treatment. (+info)
Origin of the cytoplasmic pH changes during anaerobic stress in higher plant cells. Carbon-13 and phosphorous-31 nuclear magnetic resonance studies.
We tested the contribution of nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) hydrolysis, ethanol, and organic acid syntheses, and H(+)-pump ATPases activity in the acidosis of anoxic sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) plant cells. Culture cells were chosen to alter NTP pools and fermentation with specific nutrient media (phosphate [Pi]-deprived and adenine- or glycerol-supplied). In vivo (31)P- and (13)C-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was utilized to noninvasively measure intracellular pHs, Pi, phosphomonoesters, nucleotides, lactate, and ethanol. Following the onset of anoxia, cytoplasmic (cyt) pH (7.5) decreased to 6.8 within 4 to 5 min, whereas vacuolar pH (5.7) and external pH (6.5) remained stable. The NTP pool simultaneously decreased from 210 to <20 nmol g(-1) cell wet weight, whereas nuceloside diphosphate, nucleoside monophosphate, and cyt pH increased correspondingly. The initial cytoplasmic acidification was at a minimum in Pi-deprived cells containing little NTP, and at a maximum in adenine-incubated cells showing the highest NTP concentration. Our data show that the release of H(+) ions accompanying the Pi-liberating hydrolysis of NTP was the principal cause of the initial cyt pH drop and that this cytoplasmic acidosis was not overcome by H(+) extrusion. After 15 min of anoxia, a partial cyt-pH recovery observed in cells supplied with Glc, but not with glycerol, was attributed to the H(+)-consuming ATP synthesis accompanying ethanolic fermentation. Following re-oxygenation, the cyt pH recovered its initial value (7.5) within 2 to 3 min, whereas external pH decreased abruptly. We suggest that the H(+)-pumping ATPase located in the plasma membrane was blocked in anoxia and quickly reactivated after re-oxygenation. (+info)
The hydraulic conductance of the angiosperm leaf lamina: a comparison of three measurement methods.
A comparison was made of three methods for measuring the leaf lamina hydraulic conductance (K(lamina)) for detached mature leaves of six woody temperate angiosperm species. The high-pressure method, the evaporative flux method and the vacuum pump method involve, respectively, pushing, evaporating and pulling water out of the lamina while determining the flow rate into the petiole and the water potential drop across the leaf. Tests were made of whether the high-pressure method and vacuum pump method measurements of K(lamina) on single leaves were affected by irradiance. In Quercus rubra, the high pressure method was sensitive to irradiance; K(lamina) measured under high irradiance (>1200 micro mol m(-2) s(-1 )photosynthetically active radiation) was 4.6-8.8 times larger than under ambient laboratory lighting (approximately 6 micro mol m(-2) s(-1 )photosynthetically active radiation). By constrast, the vacuum pump method was theoretically expected to be insensitive to irradiance, and this expectation was confirmed in experiments on Hedera helix. When used in the ways recommended here, the three methods produced measurements that agreed typically within 10%. There were significant differences in species' K(lamina); values ranged from 1.24x10(-4) kg s(-1) m(-2) MPa(-1) for Acer saccharum to 2.89x10(-4) kg s(-1) m(-2) MPa(-1) for Vitis labrusca. Accurate, rapid determination of K(lamina) will allow testing of the links between K(lamina), water-use, drought tolerance, and the enormous diversity of leaf form, structure and composition. (+info)
Medicinal foodstuffs. XXXI. Structures of new aromatic constituents and inhibitors of degranulation in RBL-2H3 cells from a Japanese folk medicine, the stem bark of Acer nikoense.
Four new aromatic constituents, rhododendroketoside, (-)-sakuraresinoside, acernikol, and nikoenoside, were isolated from a Japanese folk medicine, the stem bark of Acer nikoense MAXIM. The structures of the new constituents were determined on the basis of chemical and physicochemical evidence. The principle cyclic diarylheptanoids were found to show inhibitory effects on the release of beta-hexosaminidase in RBL-2H3 cells. (+info)
Does canopy position affect wood specific gravity in temperate forest trees?
The radial increases in wood specific gravity known in many tree species have been interpreted as providing mechanical support in response to the stresses associated with wind loading. This interpretation leads to the hypothesis that individuals reaching the canopy should (1) be more likely to have radial increases in specific gravity and (2) exhibit greater increases than individuals in the subcanopy. Wood specific gravity was determined for three species of forest trees (Acer rubrum, Fagus grandifolia and Tsuga canadensis) growing in central Massachusetts, USA. Acer rubrum shows radial increases in specific gravity, but these increases are not more pronounced in canopy trees; the other two species show a pattern of radial decreases. The degree of radial increase or decrease is influenced by tree height and diameter. Of the dominant tree species for which we have data, A. rubrum, Betula papyrifera and Pinus strobus show radial increases in specific gravity, whereas F. grandifolia, T. canadensis and Quercus rubra show decreases. The occurrence of radial increases in B. papyrifera and P. strobus, which are often canopy emergents, suggests that it is overall adaptive strategy that is important rather than position (canopy vs. subcanopy) of any individual tree. It is suggested that radial increases in specific gravity are associated with early-successional status or characteristics and decreases with late-successional status or persistence in mature forest. (+info)
Vulnerability of xylem vessels to cavitation in sugar maple. Scaling from individual vessels to whole branches.
The relation between xylem vessel age and vulnerability to cavitation of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) was quantified by measuring the pressure required to force air across bordered pit membranes separating individual xylem vessels. We found that the bordered pit membranes of vessels located in current year xylem could withstand greater applied gas pressures (3.8 MPa) compared with bordered pit membranes in vessels located in older annular rings (2.0 MPa). A longitudinal transect along 6-year-old branches indicated that the pressure required to push gas across bordered pit membranes of current year xylem did not vary with distance from the growing tip. To understand the contribution of age-related changes in vulnerability to the overall resistance to cavitation, we combined data on the pressure thresholds of individual xylem vessels with measurements of the relative flow rate through each annual ring. The annual ring of the current year contributed only 16% of the total flow measured on 10-cm-long segments cut from 6-year-old branches, but it contributed more than 70% of the total flow when measured through 6-year-old branches to the point of leaf attachment. The vulnerability curve calculated using relative flow rates measured on branch segments were similar to vulnerability curves measured on 6-year-old branches (pressure that reduces hydraulic conductance by 50% = 1.6-2.4 MPa), whereas the vulnerability curve calculated using relative flow rates measured on 6-year-old branches were similar to ones measured on the extension growth of the current year (pressure that reduces hydraulic conductance by 50% = 3.8 MPa). These data suggest that, in sugar maple, the xylem of the current year can withstand larger xylem tensions than older wood and dominates water delivery to leaves. (+info)
Size structure of current-year shoots in mature crowns.
Characteristics of current-year shoot populations were examined for three mature trees of each of three deciduous broad-leaved species. For first-order branches (branches emerging from the vertical trunk) of the trees examined, lengths or diameters of all current-year shoots were measured. Total leaf mass and total current-year stem mass of first-order branches were estimated using an allometric relationship between leaf or stem mass and length or diameter of current-year stems. For each tree, the number of current-year shoots on a first-order branch was proportional to the basal stem cross-sectional area of the branch. On the other hand, first-order branches had shoot populations with size structures similar to each other. As a result, the leaf mass of a first-order branch was proportional to the basal stem cross-sectional area of the branch, being compatible with the pipe-model relationship. All current-year shoot populations had positively skewed size structures. Because small shoots have a larger ratio of leaf mass to stem mass than large shoots, first-order branches had an extremely large ratio of leaf mass to current-year stem mass. This biased mass allocation will reduce costs for current stem production, respiration and future radial growth, and is beneficial to mature trees with a huge accumulation of non- photosynthetic organs. The allometric relationships between leaf mass and basal stem diameter and that between leaf mass and current-year stem mass of first-order branches were each similar across the trees examined. Characteristics of shoot populations tended to offset inter-species diversity of shoot allometry so that branch allometry shows inter-species convergence. (+info)
Hydraulic analysis of water flow through leaves of sugar maple and red oak.
Leaves constitute a substantial fraction of the total resistance to water flow through plants. A key question is how hydraulic resistance within the leaf is distributed among petiole, major veins, minor veins, and the pathways downstream of the veins. We partitioned the leaf hydraulic resistance (R(leaf)) for sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and red oak (Quercus rubra) by measuring the resistance to water flow through leaves before and after cutting specific vein orders. Simulations using an electronic circuit analog with resistors arranged in a hierarchical reticulate network justified the partitioning of total R(leaf) into component additive resistances. On average 64% and 74% of the R(leaf) was situated within the leaf xylem for sugar maple and red oak, respectively. Substantial resistance-32% and 49%- was in the minor venation, 18% and 21% in the major venation, and 14% and 4% in the petiole. The large number of parallel paths (i.e. a large transfer surface) for water leaving the minor veins through the bundle sheath and out of the leaf resulted in the pathways outside the venation comprising only 36% and 26% of R(leaf). Changing leaf temperature during measurement of R(leaf) for intact leaves resulted in a temperature response beyond that expected from changes in viscosity. The extra response was not found for leaves with veins cut, indicating that water crosses cell membranes after it leaves the xylem. The large proportion of resistance in the venation can explain why stomata respond to leaf xylem damage and cavitation. The hydraulic importance of the leaf vein system suggests that the diversity of vein system architectures observed in angiosperms may reflect variation in whole-leaf hydraulic capacity. (+info)