Water relations and hydraulic architecture of woody hemiepiphytes

  • Zotz G
  • Patino S
  • Tyree M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Several parameters related to the water relations of eight woody hemiepiphytes with different photosynthetic pathways were studied in situ and in the laboratory on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, As a group, woody hemiepiphytes tended to have less conductive stems per unit leaf area (lower k(L)) and invested less wood cross-section per unit leaf area compared to free-standing trees, while their specific conductivity (K-s)was significantly higher. Among hemiepiphytes, significant differences between C-3 and (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) species in respect to leaf characteristics, transpiration rates, diel patterns of water flow through aerial roots, and in hydraulic architecture parameters. Average transpiration rates of the two Clusia species (C-3-CAM) were lower by about an order of magnitude compared to the C, species, In an C, species, sap flow through aerial roots (F) closely followed transpiration (E), whereas E and F were decoupled in time in the C-3-CAM species Clusia uvitana: considerable long-distance water flow occurred at night. The hydraulic efficiency of the other C-3-CAM species, C. minor, was the lowest of the five species investigated.

Author-supplied keywords

  • aerial roots
  • cam
  • clusia
  • epiphyte
  • ficus
  • forest
  • growth form
  • hemiepiphytes
  • herbaceous plants
  • hydraulic archi-
  • hydraulic architecture
  • mass-flow
  • panama
  • photosynthesis
  • tecture
  • tree
  • water relations

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Authors

  • Gerhard Zotz

  • S Patino

  • Melvin T Tyree

  • Sandra Patin

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