Water potential regulation, stomatal behaviour and hydraulic transport under drought: deconstructing the iso/anisohydric concept

Jordi Martínez-Vilalta, Núria Garcia-Forner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd In this review, we address the relationship between stomatal behaviour, water potential regulation and hydraulic transport in plants, focusing on the implications for the iso/anisohydric classification of plant drought responses at seasonal timescales. We first revise the history of the isohydric concept and its possible definitions. Then, we use published data to answer two main questions: (1) is greater stomatal control in response to decreasing water availability associated with a tighter regulation of leaf water potential (ΨL) across species? and (2) is there an association between tighter ΨL regulation (~isohydric behaviour) and lower leaf conductance over time during a drought event? These two questions are addressed at two levels: across species growing in different sites and comparing only species coexisting at a given site. Our analyses show that, across species, a tight regulation of ΨL is not necessarily associated with greater stomatal control or with more constrained assimilation during drought. Therefore, iso/anisohydry defined in terms of ΨL regulation cannot be used as an indicator of a specific mechanism of drought-induced mortality or as a proxy for overall plant vulnerability to drought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)962-976
JournalPlant Cell and Environment
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • anisohydry
  • embolism
  • hydraulic architecture
  • isohydry
  • plant strategies
  • seasonal responses
  • stomata
  • water relations
  • xylem transport

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