Document Detail

The maximum height of grasses is determined by roots.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22489611     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Ecology Letters (2012) ABSTRACT: Grasses such as bamboos can produce upright stems more than 30 m tall, yet the processes that constrain plant height in this important group have never been investigated. Air embolisms form commonly in the water transport system of grasses and we hypothesised that root pressure-dependent refilling these embolisms should limit the maximum height of grass species to the magnitude of their root pressure. Confirming this hypothesis, we show that in 59 species of bamboo grown in two common gardens, the maximum heights of culms of 67 clones are closely predicted by the maximum measured root pressure overnight. Furthermore, we demonstrate that water transport in these bamboo species is dependent on root pressure to repair hydraulic dysfunction sustained during normal diurnal gas exchange. Our results established the critical importance of root pressure in the tallest grass species and provide a new basis for understanding the limits for plant growth.
Kun-Fang Cao; Shi-Jian Yang; Yong-Jiang Zhang; Tim J Brodribb
Publication Detail:
Type:  LETTER     Date:  2012-4-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ecology letters     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1461-0248     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101121949     Medline TA:  Ecol Lett     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan Province 666303, China Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, China Department of Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia.
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