Maintaining the movement of water through the xylem during water stress is the key trait setting species drought tolerance. The trait is highly variable across taxa but little is known about how it varies within a species or during a plant’s lifetime.
Understanding variation in these axes has important implications for interspecific comparisons but is also vital to our assessment of species distribution under climate change.
My research aims to assess intraspecific and ontogenetic variation in hydraulic vulnerability. My current focus is variation between individuals of the iconic Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus).