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Open AccessCommunication

A Leaf Selfie: Using a Smartphone to Quantify Leaf Vulnerability to Hydraulic Dysfunction

1
Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Scienze chimiche, biologiche, farmaceutiche e ambientali, Università di Messina, Viale Ferdinando Stagno d’Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(2), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020234
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 21 January 2020 / Accepted: 5 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
Accurate predictions of species distribution under current and future climate conditions require modeling efforts based on clear mechanistic relationships between climate variables and plant physiological functions. Vulnerability of leaves to xylem embolism is a key mechanistic trait that might be included in these modeling efforts. Here, we propose a simple set-up to measure leaf vulnerability to embolism on the basis of the optical method using a smartphone, a light source, and a notebook. Our data show that this proposed set-up can adequately quantify the vulnerability to xylem embolism of leaf major veins in Populus nigra and Ostrya carpinifolia, producing values consistent with those obtained in temperate tree species with other methods, allowing virtually any laboratory to quantify species-specific drought tolerance on the basis of a sound mechanistic trait.
Keywords: leaf; drought; embolism; vein; vulnerability; smartphone; optical method leaf; drought; embolism; vein; vulnerability; smartphone; optical method
MDPI and ACS Style

Petruzzellis, F.; Tomasella, M.; Miotto, A.; Natale, S.; Trifilò, P.; Nardini, A. A Leaf Selfie: Using a Smartphone to Quantify Leaf Vulnerability to Hydraulic Dysfunction. Plants 2020, 9, 234.

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