Leaf vein fraction influences the Péclet effect and ¹⁸O enrichment in leaf water

Holloway-Phillips, Meisha, Cernusak, Lucas A., Barbour, Margaret, Song, Xin, Cheesman, Alexander, Munksgaard, Niels, Stuart-Williams, Hilary, and Farquhar, Graham D. (2016) Leaf vein fraction influences the Péclet effect and ¹⁸O enrichment in leaf water. Plant, Cell & Environment, 39 (11). pp. 2414-2427.

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Abstract

The process of evaporation results in the fractionation of water isotopes such that the lighter ¹⁶O isotope preferentially escapes the gas phase leaving the heavier ¹⁸O isotope to accumulate at the sites of evaporation. This applies to transpiration from a leaf with the degree of fractionation dependent on a number of environmental and physiological factors that are well understood. Nevertheless, the ¹⁸O enrichment of bulk leaf water is often less than that predicted for the sites of evaporation. The advection of less enriched water in the transpiration stream has been suggested to limit the back diffusion of enriched evaporative site water (Péclet effect); however, evidence for this effect has been varied. In sampling across a range of species with different vein densities and saturated water contents, we demonstrate the importance of accounting for the relative 'pool' sizes of the vascular and mesophyll water for the interpretation of a Péclet effect. Further, we provide strong evidence for a Péclet signal within the xylem that if unaccounted for can lead to confounding of the estimated enrichment within the mesophyll water. This has important implications for understanding variation in the effective path length of the mesophyll and hence potentially the ¹⁸O of organic matter.

The ¹⁸O enrichment of leaf water during transpiration is often less than that predicted for the sites of evaporation. The Peclet effect remains the most compelling explanation; however, evidence has been varied. We provide strong evidence for a Peclet effect within the xylem which, if unaccounted for, can lead to confounding of the estimated enrichment within the mesophyll water.

Item ID: 46390
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: O-18, ¹⁸O, evaporative enrichment, leaf water isotopes, Péclet, tree-rings, vein volume fraction
ISSN: 1365-3040
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Project Grant DP120102965, ARC Discovery Project Grant DP150103863, ARC Discovery Project Grant DP150100588
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2016 07:44
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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