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Stuart Chapin, Pons , Thijs L. The individual is engaged in a struggle for existence Darwin. That struggle may be of two kinds:The acquisition of the resources needed for establishment and growth from a sometimes hostile and meager environment and the struggle with competingneighbors of the same or different species.

Plant Physiology

In some ways, we can define physiology and ecology in terms of these two kinds of struggles. Plant ecology, or plant sociology, is centered on the relationships and interactions of species within communities and the way in which populations of a species are adapted to a characteristic range of environments.

Plant physiology is mostly concerned with the individual and its struggle with its environment. At the outset of this book, the authors give their definition of ecophysiology, arriving at the conclusion that it is a point of view about physiology. The standard conditions used in the laboratory are usually regarded as treatments.

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Water Uptake and Transport in Vascular Plants | Learn Science at Scitable

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Describe the connection issue. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Vascular transport in plants. Responsibility N. Michele Holbrook, Maciej A. We also aim at quantifying the species-specific critical stress levels inducing increased mortality risk and eventual increase of vulnerability to successive drought events. The intricate and delicate network of leaf veins is a wonderful example of evolutionary engineering, and leaf vasculature has always fascinated scientists, as well as artists. From a functional viewpoint, this complex plumbing system is designed to efficiently deliver water to photosynthetic cells, thus replacing the huge amount of water that plants lose to the atmosphere during the transpiration process.

In fact, large water losses are unavoidably coupled to stomatal opening and CO2 diffusion from the atmosphere into the leaf interior, which is crucial to fuel photosynthetic processes. We are particularly interested in the responses of leaf hydraulic conductance to different environmental factors, and specifically to drought stress.

We analyze the relationships between leaf hydraulic efficiency and safety, investigating basic mechanisms underlying the loss of leaf hydraulic conductance under stress conditions, and the processes allowing eventual recovery upon stress release. We are also very interested in the trade-offs between leaf construction costs, hydraulic safety and efficiency, and the ecological consequences in terms of plants competitiveness and distribution in different habitats, ranging from local to regional and global spatial scales.

We use anatomical, biophysical and molecular tools to investigate leaf hydraulics, and we also apply basic knowledge to the development of screening criteria to identify drought-resistant genotypes of different woody crops. The invasion of natural habitats by alien plants is one of the most important threats to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem stability at regional and global scales, and is of particular concern because it can alter several biogeochemical and hydrological processes of fundamental importance.

Our understanding of the fundamental ecophysiological mechanisms promoting invasion by alien species is still limited.

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Despite large efforts devoted to identify functional traits related to invasiveness of alien plants, most studies dealing with this topic have focused on traits relatively easy to measure, but often without clear mechanistic linkages with plant physiological performance. Among these, traits related to plant water relations and hydraulics are very interesting for studies focused on invasive plants, because the efficiency of root-to-leaf water transport is one of the factors most closely correlated to leaf gas exchange rates, maximum net photosynthesis, competition for water and relative growth rates.

We are currently measuring several mechanistic traits in alien plants, comparing these values with those found in native and outcompeted species. We aim to identify the set of mechanistic traits promoting invasion by alien plants in different native habitats. Drought stress and the recovery from xylem embolism in woody plants.

Progress in Botany Relationships between water status and photosystem functionality in a chlorolichen and its isolated photobiont.

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