#Connected Land, Water, and Life

Leaf water: To Peclet or not to Peclet

Land plants are key players in global cycles of carbon and water. Our new study will allow scientists to choose the right model of water movement through leaves for different plants, which will improve interpretation of past environmental change and help inform climate change predictions.

Professor Margaret Barbour and her collaborators have published a significant new journal article in Plant, Cell  and Environment: Can hydraulic design explain patterns of leaf water isotopic enrichment in C3 plants?

Leaf water stable isotopes sit at the heart of a number of techniques to understand global biogeochemical cycles, but scientists remain unable to accurately predict natural variation in isotope enrichment in leaves. Our work improves prediction accuracy by identifying the most accurate model to apply for different types of leaves.

We show that leaf hydraulic design contributes to the development of gradients in oxygen isotope composition within leaf water, and that a priori knowledge of leaf hydraulic design can guide selection of appropriate leaf water isotope models.

Other research that you may be interested in