Publications by Brendan Choat

Triggers of tree mortality under drought

Severe droughts have caused widespread tree mortality across many forest biomes with profound effects on the function of ecosystems and carbon balance. Climate change is expected to intensify regional-scale droughts, focusing attention on the physiological basis of drought-induced…

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Casting light on xylem vulnerability in an herbaceous species reveals a lack of segmentation

Finding thresholds at which loss of plant functionality occurs during drought is critical for predicting future crop productivity and survival. Xylem resistance to embolism has been suggested as a key trait associated with water-stress tolerance. Although a substantial…

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Casting light on xylem vulnerability in an herbaceous species reveals a lack of segmentation

Skelton, RP, Brodribb, TJ, Choat, B (2017) Catsing light on xylem vulnerability in an herbaceous species reveals a lack of segmentation. New Phytologist 214: 561-569

Summary Finding thresholds at which loss of plant functionality occurs during drought is critical for predicting future crop productivity and survival. Xylem resistance to embolism has been suggested as a key trait associated with water-stress tolerance. Although a…

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Are needles of Pinus pinaster more vulnerable to xylem embolism than branches? New insights from X‐ray computed tomography

Bouche, P. S., Delzon, S., Choat, B., Badel, E., Brodribb, T. J., Burlett, R., Cochard, H., Charra-Vaskou, K., Lavigne, B., Li, S., Mayr, S., Morris, H., Torres-Ruiz, J. M., Zufferey, V., and Jansen, S. (2016) Are needles of Pinus pinaster more vulnerable to xylem embolism than branches? New insights from X-ray computed tomography. Plant, Cell & Environment, doi: 10.1111/pce.12680.

Plants can be highly segmented organisms with an independently redundant design of organs. In the context of plant hydraulics, leaves may be less embolism resistant than stems, allowing hydraulic failure to be restricted to distal organs that can…

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Weak tradeoff between xylem safety and xylem‐specific hydraulic efficiency across the world’s woody plant species

Gleason, S. M., Westoby, M., Jansen, S., Choat, B., Hacke, U. G., Pratt, R. B., Bhaskar, R., Brodribb, T. J., Bucci, S. J., Cao, K.-F., Cochard, H., Delzon, S., Domec, J.-C., Fan, Z.-X., Feild, T. S., Jacobsen, A. L., Johnson, D. M., Lens, F., Maherali, H., Martínez-Vilalta, J., Mayr, S., McCulloh, K. A., Mencuccini, M., Mitchell, P. J., Morris, H., Nardini, A., Pittermann, J., Plavcová, L., Schreiber, S. G., Sperry, J. S., Wright, I. J. and Zanne, A. E. (2016), Weak tradeoff between xylem safety and xylem-specific hydraulic efficiency across the world's woody plant species. New Phytol, 209: 123–136. doi:10.1111/nph.13646

Summary The evolution of lignified xylem allowed for the efficient transport of water under tension, but also exposed the vascular network to the risk of gas emboli and the spread of gas between xylem conduits, thus impeding sap…

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Direct X-ray microtomography observation confirms the induction of embolism upon xylem cutting under tension

Torres-Ruiz JM, Jansen S, Choat B, McElrone AJ, Cochard H, Brodribb TJ, Badel E, Burlett R, Bouche PS, Brodersen CR, Li S, Morris H, Delzon S. Direct x-ray microtomography observation confirms the induction of embolism upon xylem cutting under tension. Plant Physiol. 2015 Jan;167(1):40-3. doi: 10.1104/pp.114.249706. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

Embolism resistance is a critically important trait for evaluating the ability of plants to survive and recover from drought periods and predicting future drought-induced forest decline (Choat et al., 2012). However, recent publications have provided evidence that some…

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Measurements of stem xylem hydraulic conductivity in the laboratory and field

Melcher, P.J., N.M. Holbrook, M.J. Burns, M.A. Zwieniecki, A.R. Cobb, T.J. Brodribb, B. Choat and L. Sack. 2012 Measurements of stem xylem hydraulic conductivity in the laboratory and field. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 3, 685-694.

Xylem hydraulic properties play an essential role in supporting growth and photosynthesis and influence sensitivity to environmental conditions such as drought and freezing. Consequently, stem hydraulic conductance can be used as a comparative measure of overall hydraulic adaptation…

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Global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought

Choat B, Jansen S, Brodribb TJ, Cochard H, Delzon S et al. (2012) Global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought. Nature 491: 752–755

Shifts in rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures associated with climate change are likely to cause widespread forest decline in regions where droughts are predicted to increase in duration and severity. One primary cause of productivity loss and plant…

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