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Special Issue "Tree Hydraulic Functioning"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecophysiology and Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Rosa Ana López Rodríguez

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. ETSI Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural. C/ José Antonio Novais, 10. 28040 Madrid, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Plant hydraulics, Water relations, Drought resistance, Wood anatomy, Phenotypic plasticity,
Guest Editor
Dr. Alberto Vilagrosa

CEAM, Joint Research Unit Fundación CEAM-University of Alicante, University of Alicante, POB 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Plant Functional Ecology, Ecological Restoration, Ecophysiology, Drought stress
Guest Editor
Dr. José Manuel Torres Ruiz

Universite Clermont-Auvergne-INRA, PIAF Unit, 63000, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Identifying the physiological mechanisms governing the plant performance of forest and crop species under drought conditions; plant hydraulics; xylem anatomy; water relations; drought-induced tree mortality.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant growth, reproduction and photosynthesis critically depend on maintaining an adequate supply of water to the leaves and meristems. Cavitation, and the resulting gas emboli that block the xylem conduits and impairs water transport, is considered one of the major challenges for the ascent of sap. During severe or prolonged droughts or due to the expansion of air bubbles in the freeze-thaw cycles in winter, hydraulic failure can result in loss of hydraulic conductance with the resulting reduction in water supply to leaves, lowering of photosynthetic rates, canopy dieback and eventually whole plant death. Xylem embolism is thus a limiting factor for plant survival and distribution. Besides the construction of a xylem resistant to embolism, drought and freezing tolerance is determined by a number of key hydraulic traits which aid to maintain plant water content within xylem functional limits. These traits, such as stomatal sensitivity, leaf turgor loss point, capacitance, refilling of embolized conduits or rooting depth, vary enormously across species. According to projected scenarios of global change, the expected rise in global mean temperature and frequency of extreme events over the next century will impact forest ecosystems and shift species distribution ranges. This has made hydraulic traits to emerge as crucial parameters to understanding species ecology and distribution, differences in water use strategies, and for predicting future mortality events. This special issue will focus on functional variation of plant hydraulic traits with particular interest in embolism resistance and how plants, populations and communities deal with reductions in hydraulic conductivity. We encourage submissions of original studies and critical reviews related with the following topics:

  • Variation in embolism resistance in response to abiotic (water, light, CO2, temperature) and biotic factors (competition, diseases).
  • New techniques or revisions of established techniques to evaluate hydraulic traits both in the field and in the laboratory.
  • Impact of xylem embolism and reductions of hydraulic conductivity on plant function and how plants deal with these phenomena in relation to gas exchange and plant performance.
  • Intraspecific variability and phenotypic plasticity of hydraulic traits.
  • Hydraulic traits in the framework of the plant economic spectrum. Strategies of adaptation to hydraulic failure of different functional groups.

Dr. Rosa Ana López Rodríguez
Dr. Alberto Vilagrosa
Dr. José Manuel Torres Ruiz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • vulnerability to embolism
  • hydraulic traits
  • xylem anatomy and hydraulic functioning
  • water relations
  • tree mortality

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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