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DANIELLE A. WAY, JEAN-CHRISTOPHE DOMEC and ROBERT B. JACKSON Elevated growth temperatures alter hydraulic characteristics in trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) seedlings: implications for tree drought tolerance Plant, Cell & Environment 36

Version of Record online: 8 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2012.02557.x

We investigated the effect of elevated growth temperatures on hydraulic characteristics of aspen and used the SPA model to predict how the physiological changes we observed might affect tree water use in the face of realistic climate fluctuations. Warming increased aspen growth and altered hydraulic resistance and vulnerability to cavitation in a tissue-dependent manner, such that roots, stems and leaves showed different responses to elevated temperatures. Modeling results showed that aspen that developed at warmer conditions experienced more frequent, severe droughts and had lower water use efficiency than aspen that grew under current temperature regimes. These results indicate that climate warming may increase tree water use due to physiological acclimation of hydraulic and growth traits, which could increase tree susceptibility to drought in future climates.

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