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Open AccessArticle

Variation in Xylem Hydraulic Structure and Function of Two Mangrove Species across a Latitudinal Gradient in Eastern Australia

1
State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
2
Guangxi Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Conservation, College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
3
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW 2753, Australia
4
School of Biology and Ecology, University of Marine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
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Department of International Cooperation and Exchange, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Adriana Bruggeman
Water 2021, 13(6), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060850
Received: 28 February 2021 / Revised: 13 March 2021 / Accepted: 17 March 2021 / Published: 19 March 2021
Mangroves growing in tropical and subtropical intertidal zones face challenges from warming and altered rainfall patterns associated with global climate change. Intraspecific variation in hydraulic traits may allow a mangrove species to acclimate to novel climatic conditions, yet little is known regarding the potential for adaptive plasticity in these traits. In this study, we aimed to quantify the variation in plant hydraulic traits of two widespread mangrove species growing across a latitudinal gradient. We investigated the xylem hydraulic structure and function of Avicennia marina and Aegiceras corniculatum, across three sites spanning a latitudinal gradient of 17.45° in eastern Australia. We found that both species were highly resistant to xylem embolism and that there was significant intraspecific variation in hydraulic traits between sites. The highest embolism resistance and sapwood-specific hydraulic conductivity (KS) were found at the lowest latitude site that had the highest mean annual temperature and precipitation. A. marina showed no differences in vessel size and density among sites. It has other special features such as successive cambia enhancing its ability to adapt to a large environmental gradient. In contrast, A. corniculatum showed higher vessel densities at lower latitudes. There was a significant and positive correlation (R2 = 0.72, p < 0.05) between KS and embolism resistance across species and sites, suggesting the absence of a tradeoff between hydraulic efficiency and safety. Both embolism resistance and KS were negatively correlated with wood density but positively with vessel wall reinforcement. This study reveals that these two widespread mangrove species were adapted to warmer climates by enhancing both hydraulic efficiency and safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: xylem; hydraulics; latitudinal gradient; mangroves; anatomy; vulnerability to embolism xylem; hydraulics; latitudinal gradient; mangroves; anatomy; vulnerability to embolism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, X.; Choat, B.; Zhang, Y.-J.; Guan, X.-Y.; Shi, W.; Cao, K.-F. Variation in Xylem Hydraulic Structure and Function of Two Mangrove Species across a Latitudinal Gradient in Eastern Australia. Water 2021, 13, 850. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060850

AMA Style

Jiang X, Choat B, Zhang Y-J, Guan X-Y, Shi W, Cao K-F. Variation in Xylem Hydraulic Structure and Function of Two Mangrove Species across a Latitudinal Gradient in Eastern Australia. Water. 2021; 13(6):850. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060850

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jiang, Xin; Choat, Brendan; Zhang, Yong-Jiang; Guan, Xin-Yi; Shi, Wen; Cao, Kun-Fang. 2021. "Variation in Xylem Hydraulic Structure and Function of Two Mangrove Species across a Latitudinal Gradient in Eastern Australia" Water 13, no. 6: 850. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060850

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