Location: Water Management and Systems ResearchTitle: A blooming interest in the hydraulic traits of flowers A commentary on Roddy et al. ‘Water relations of Calycanthus flowers: hydraulic conductance, capacitance, and embolism resistance’ Author
Submitted to: Plant Cell and Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2018
Publication Date: 5/17/2018
Citation: Gleason, S.M. 2018. A blooming interest in the hydraulic traits of flowers A commentary on Roddy et al. ‘Water relations of Calycanthus flowers: hydraulic conductance, capacitance, and embolism resistance’. Plant Cell and Environment. 10.1111/pce.13345.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.13345 Interpretive Summary: Few studies have quantified the water requirements of flowers. This is unfortunate because the importance of flowers cannot be overstated. Their evolution is akin to evolution of flowering plants and the unique traits that underpin their success. And yet, the selection pressures that have engendered the form and function of flowers are not well understood. Animal pollinators have traditionally been the focus of this research, and rightfully so, considering the intuitive and well-understood links between pollinators and flower traits. However, similar to the evolution of other plant organs, flowers represent the outcome of conflicting requirements and constraints beyond that imposed by their animal counterparts. Flowers represent significant water, carbon and nutrients sinks, and because the availability of these resources varies across habitats, we might also expect fitness in different habitats to reflect differences in resource allocation. This commentary focuses on the missing gaps in our understanding of flower hydraulics and the impacts these gaps have had on our understanding of plant hydraulics and reproduction strategies more generally.
Technical Abstract: This is a short peer-reviewed commentary. No technical abstract is required.