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A new mechanism for tree mortality due to drought and heatwaves

Abstract : Plants tend to die earlier in hot and drought conditions, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet understood. I propose here a new mechanism by which excessive residual water losses caused by high cuticular permeabilities and a high leaf-to-air vapor pressure deficits would trigger uncontrolled and sudden cavitation events. The combination of heat and drought stresses may therefore lead to an unsuspected risk of hydraulic failure. I explored this hypothesis with a new mechanistic model. The simulations support this hypothesis and highlight the critical role played by the cuticle phase transition temperature. Experiments are now awaited to confirm these predictions.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03203086
Contributor : Dominique Tiziani <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 3:03:42 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 1:35:03 PM

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Hervé Cochard. A new mechanism for tree mortality due to drought and heatwaves. Peer Community In Forest & Wood Sciences, PCI 2020, 17 p. ⟨10.1101/531632⟩. ⟨hal-03203086⟩

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