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Savage, Jessica [1], Kiecker, Thomas [2], McMann, Natalie [2], Park, Daniel [3], Primack, Richard [4], Rothendler, Matthew [4], Mosher, Kennedy [5].

Wood anatomy correlates with leaf out time across large geographic scales and within local communities.

In the spring, canopy development is supported by water from the xylem but at this time of year xylem transport can be compromised in some species. For this reason, it has been hypothesized that the timing of leaf out could be limited by a plant’s susceptibility to freezing-induced embolism with more vulnerable species exhibiting leaf out later in the spring after the production of new vessels. This proposed constraint on phenology is thought to cause a relationship between vessel diameter and leaf phenology because vessel size is directly related to the probability that a plant will experience freezing-induced embolism. Despite the frequent discussions of this relationship, few studies have investigated it directly and none of the studies to date have examined wood anatomy and leaf phenology in the same individual plants. To test whether the relationship between vessel size and leaf phenology is robust, we examined plants from three sites, an arboretum with a phylogenetically diverse group of plants, a common garden containing species from the family Salicaceae collected across North America, and a set of species that all co-occur in a local forest in Minnesota. On a subset of plants, we also used dye perfusion to examine xylem conductive area at the time of leaf out. We found that larger-vesselled species leaf out later than smaller-vesselled species at all three sites. The relationship between vessel diameter and the timing of leaf out was linear when examining species from the arboretum and the local community, but not in the salicaceous garden, which experienced significant freezing damage and dieback during the study. Differences between these sites highlight the complexity of the relationship between wood anatomy and phenology. Vessel size not only has implications for spring transport capacity but also for plant freezing tolerance. Overall, our research suggests that early spring phenology might be limited by seasonal changes in the vascular system, but more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanism for this relationship.

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1 - University Of Minnesota - Duluth, Biology, 1035 Kirby Drive, 207 Swenson Science Buildling, Duluth, MN, 55812, United States
2 - University of Minnesota - Duluth
3 - Purdue University
4 - Boston University
5 - University of Minnesota -Duluth

vessel diameter
wood porosity

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECOPH2, Ecophysiology II
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 10:15 AM(EDT)
Number: ECOPH2002
Abstract ID:1002
Candidate for Awards:None

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