/   Home   /   Newsroom   /   Research News

Liana and Tree Branches Differ in Mechanical Design but Similar in Hydraulic Design

Jul 11, 2019     Email"> PrintText Size

In tropical forests, trees and lianas grow to tall statures to display their leaves for light capture in the exposed upper forest canopy. Large lianas and trees in the forest canopy are challenged by hydraulic and mechanical failures and need to balance hydraulic conductivity, hydraulic safety and mechanical safety. 

In a recent issue of journal Tree Physiology, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and Wageningen University showed that liana and tree branches diverged in mechanical design due to fundamental differences in wood formation, but similar in hydraulic design. 

The researchers sampled and measured branches from 22 species at a canopy crane in a seasonal tropical lowland rain forest in Xishuangbanna.  

To evaluate trade-offs and differences between lianas and trees, the researchers quantified the hydraulic conductivity from the xylem-specific hydraulic conductivity (KS), hydraulic safety from the cavitation resistance (P50) and mechanical safety from the modulus of rupture (MOR).

They also measured a number of anatomical features that may influence those three functional traits. 

They found that there were no clear trade-offs between hydraulic conductivity, hydraulic safety and mechanical safety across exposed canopy distal branches in trees and lianas. Liana canopy distal branches better resist branch breakage against mechanical forces than tree canopy branches.  

Moreover, lianas and trees were as groups similar in hydraulic performance; and the mechanisms that drive KS, P50 and MOR may differ between lianas and trees. 

(Editor: ZHANG Nannan)

Related Articles

tree;saplings;harvest;floristic composition;tropical dry forest;TDF

Sapling Harvest predominantly Affects Floristic Composition of Tropical Dry Forest

May 04, 2017

Researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Banaras Hindu University analyzed the structure of a tropical dry forest (TDF) the Vindhyan tropical range of India in terms of the composition of sm...

tree;desert;dust storm;vegetation

Great Wall of Trees Keeps China's Deserts at Bay

Dec 17, 2014

CHINA is holding back the desert, for now. The Great Green Wall – a massive belt of trees being planted across China's arid north in what might be the largest ecological engineering project on the planet – seems to work, according to a new study. "Ve...

new species;tree;northern Myanmar;Magnolia kachinensis

A New Tree Species of Magnolia Found in Northern Myanmar

Nov 14, 2018

During their fieldwork in the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary, northern Myanmar, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) collected an unusual species of Magnolia. After undertaking a comprehensive literature and herbarium review,...

Contact Us

Copyright © 2002 - Chinese Academy of Sciences