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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335271

Title: Response to: Vessel size, patterning and functionality: facts and artifacts

item Gleason, Sean
item BUCCI, SANDRA - Universidad Nacional De La Patagonia Austral
item CAO, KUN-FANG - Guangxi University
item CHOAT, BRENDAN - Western Sydney University
item COCHARD, HERVE - Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
item DELZON, SYLVAIN - University Of Bordeaux
item HACKE, UWE - University Of Alberta
item JACOBSEN, ANNA - California State University
item JANSEN, STEVEN - Ulm University
item JOHNSON, DANIEL - University Of Idaho
item LENS, FREDERIC - Leiden University
item MAHERALI, HAFIZ - University Of Guelph
item MARTINEZ-VILALTA, JORDI - Autonomous University Of Barcelona
item MAYR, STEFAN - University Of Innsbruck
item MCCULLOH, KATHERINE - University Of Wisconsin
item MENCUCCINI, MAURIZIO - University Of Edinburgh
item MITCHELL, PATRICK - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item MORRIS, HUGH - Ulm University
item NARDINI, ANDREA - University Of Trieste
item PITTERMANN, JARMILA - University Of California
item PLAVCOVA, LENKA - Univerzita Hradec Králové - University Of Hradec Králové
item PRATT, R.BRANDON - California State University
item SCHREIBER, STEFAN - University Of Alberta
item SPERRY, JOHN - University Of Utah
item WESTOBY, MARK - Macquarie University
item WRIGHT, IAN - Macquarie University
item ZANNE, AMY - George Washington University

Submitted to: New Phytologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2016
Publication Date: 9/1/2016
Citation: Gleason, S.M., Bucci, S.J., Cao, K., Choat, B., Cochard, H., Delzon, S., Hacke, U.G., Jacobsen, A.L., Jansen, S., Johnson, D.M., Lens, F., Maherali, H., Martinez-Vilalta, J., Mayr, S., Mcculloh, K.A., Mencuccini, M., Mitchell, P.J., Morris, H., Nardini, A., Pittermann, J., Plavcova, L., Pratt, R., Schreiber, S.G., Sperry, J.S., Westoby, M., Wright, I.J., Zanne, A.E. 2016. Response to: Vessel size, patterning and functionality: facts and artifacts. New Phytologist. 10.1111/nph.14043.

Interpretive Summary: This letter is a peer-reviewed response to an article that was submitted to New Phytologist (Lev-Yadun et al.), commenting on paper that we published earlier this year in the same journal. The comments are critical of our methods, and thus, our interpretation of the results. The main point we make is that, although his arguments are biologically relevant, they are not relevant to the question we asked in our paper. As such we do not see the arguments raised by Lev-Yadun as constituting an important challenge to our results or conclusions.

Technical Abstract: Gleason et al. (2016) asked if a meaningful inverse correlation exists between safety and efficiency measured in the xylem tissue of branches across the World’s vascular plant species. We found poor evidence for inverse correlation between these traits, but also the occurrence of many species with neither high efficiency nor high safety. It is true that the influence of other traits and environment may trade off with either safety or efficiency in isolation of one another and that the potential linkage among these traits represent important research topics, e.g., the apparent tradeoff between tension/reaction wood and xylem efficiency (Spicer & Gartner, 2002; Mayr & Cochard, 2003). However, we are not aware of any hypothesis for why these correlations would necessarily modify the relationship between safety and efficiency, nor why we might expect a safety-efficiency relationship to emerge in some tissues but not others (e.g., branches vs roots). As such, we view the critique of Lev-Yadun (2016) as an opportunity to further our understanding of how anatomy relates to function, but not as an important challenge to our results.