How reliable is the double-ended pressure sleeve technique for assessing xylem vulnerability to cavitation in woody angiosperms?

Authors

  • Mustapha Ennajeh,

    1. Département des Sciences de la Vie, Faculté des Sciences de Gabès, Université de Gabès, Cité Erriadh-Zrig, 6072 Gabès, Tunisia
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    • These authors have contributed equally to this work.

  • Fabiano Simões,

    1. Fisiologia Vegetal, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, Campus Universitário 96010-900 - Capão do Leão, RS, Brasil
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    • These authors have contributed equally to this work.

  • Habib Khemira,

    1. Département des Sciences de la Vie, Faculté des Sciences de Gabès, Université de Gabès, Cité Erriadh-Zrig, 6072 Gabès, Tunisia
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  • Hervé Cochard

    Corresponding author
    1. INRA, UMR 547 PIAF, F-63100 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 01, France
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e-mail: cochard@clermont.inra.fr

Abstract

The reliability of a double-ended pressure sleeve technique was evaluated on three woody angiosperm species with contrasting maximum vessel lengths. Vulnerability curves (VCs) were constructed by varying sample length and the size of the pressure sleeves. VCs were compared against curves obtained with reference techniques. For the two diffuse-porous species, Betula pendula and Prunus persica, VCs built with shoot segments shorter than maximum vessel length strongly overestimated species vulnerability. Furthermore, increasing the size of the pressure sleeve also tended to lead to overestimated VCs. For the ring-porous species Quercus robur, the technique strongly overestimated vulnerability to embolism, whatever the sample length or chamber tested. In conclusion, the double-ended pressure sleeve technique only gives reliable VCs on diffuse-porous angiosperms with short pressure sleeves, only when segments are longer than maximum vessel length.

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