Vol.91, No.4, 2022, pp.811-825, doi:10.32604/phyton.2022.019386
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ARTICLE
Tree Height-Related Hydraulic Strategy to Cope with Freeze-Thaw Stress in Six Common Urban Tree Species in North China
  • Cunyang Niu, Wenkai Shou, Li Ma, Jianqiang Qian*
Department of Ecology, College of Forestry, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, 450002, China
* Corresponding Author: Jianqiang Qian. Email:
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Plant Ecophysiology: Recent Trends and Advancements)
Received 22 September 2021; Accepted 22 October 2021; Issue published 09 December 2021
Abstract
Urban trees are sensitive to extreme weather events under climate change. Freeze-thaw induced hydraulic failure could induce urban tree dieback and nullify the services they provide. Plant height is a simple but significant trait for plant ecological strategies. Understanding how urban trees with different heights adapt to freeze-thaw stress is increasingly important under climate change. We investigated the relationship between tree height and stem hydraulic functional traits of six common urban tree species in North China to explore tree height-related hydraulic strategies to cope with freeze-thaw stress. Results showed that tall trees had wider vessels, higher hydraulic conductivity, more winter embolism, but lower vessel and wood densities. Positive relationships were found between tree height and vessel diameter, hydraulic conductivity, and freeze-thaw induced embolism, and negative relationships were found between tree height and vessel and wood densities, which implied that short trees employ more conservative ecological strategies than tall trees. Tall and short tree species were well separated by multiple stem hydraulic functional traits; this is consistent with the fact that tall and short trees occupy different niches and indicates that different hydraulic strategies for freeze-thaw stress exist between them. Tall trees might face more pressure to survive under extreme cold weather caused by climate change in the future. Therefore, more attention should be paid to tall urban tree management in North China to cope with extreme cold weather.
Keywords
Growth form; height; vessel size; hydraulic conductivity; freeze-thaw events
Cite This Article
Niu, C., Shou, W., Ma, L., Qian, J. (2022). Tree Height-Related Hydraulic Strategy to Cope with Freeze-Thaw Stress in Six Common Urban Tree Species in North China. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 91(4), 811–825.
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