EGU22-7603, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Xylem porosity shapes sapwood characteristics and stem water use of temperate and boreal tree species

Christoforos Pappas1,2, Nicolas Bélanger1,2, Gabriel Bastien-Beaudet1, Catherine Couture1, Loïc D'Orangeville3, Louis Duchesne4, Fabio Gennaretti1,5, Daniel Houle6, Alexander G. Hurley7, Stefan Klesse8, Simon Lebel Desrosiers1,2, Miguel Montoro Girona1,5,9, Richard L. Peters10,11, Sergio Rossi12,13, Karel St-Amand1, and Daniel Kneeshaw1
Christoforos Pappas et al.
  • 1Centre d’étude de la forêt, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, H3C 3P8, Canada.
  • 2Département science et technologie, Université du Québec (TÉLUQ), 5800 rue Saint-Denis, Bureau 1105, Montréal, QC, H2S 3L5, Canada.
  • 3Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, 28 Dineen Drive, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3, Canada.
  • 4Direction de la recherche forestière, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, 2700 Einstein, Québec, QC, G1P 3W8, Canada.
  • 5Groupe de recherche en écologie de la MRC-Abitibi (GREMA), Forest Research Institute, Université du Québec en Abitibi‐Témiscamingue, 341 Principale Nord, Amos, QC, J9T 2L8, Canada.
  • 6Science and Technology Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 105 rue McGill, QC, H2Y 2E7 Montréal, Canada.
  • 7GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section ‘Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution’, Wissenschaftpark ‘Albert Einstein’, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany.
  • 8Forest Dynamics, Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
  • 9Restoration Ecology Group, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83, Umeå, Sweden.
  • 10Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Department of Plants and Crops, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, Ghent, B-9000, Belgium.
  • 11Forest Dynamics, Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
  • 12Département des Sciences Fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada.
  • 13Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Botany, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China.

Sapwood characteristics, such as sapwood area as well as thermal and hydraulic conductivity, are linked to species-specific hydraulic function and resource allocation to water transport tissues (xylem). These characteristics are often unknown and thus a major source of uncertainty in sap flow data processing and transpiration estimates because bulk rather than species-specific values are usually applied. Here, we analyzed the sapwood characteristics of fifteen common tree species in eastern North America from different taxa (i.e., angiosperms and gymnosperms) and xylem porosity groups (i.e., tracheid-bearing, diffuse- or ring-porous species). We quantified their sapwood area changes with stem diameter (allometric scaling) and thermal conductivity. We combined these measurements with species-specific values of wood density and hydraulic conductivity found in literature and assessed the role of wood anatomy in orchestrating their covariation. Angiosperms (ring- and diffuse-porous species), with specialized vessels for water transport, showed steeper relation (scaling) between tree size and sapwood area in comparison to gymnosperms (tracheid-bearing species). Despite the variability in thermal conductivity between species, gymnosperms (angiosperms) were characterized by lower (higher) wood density and higher (lower) sapwood moisture content, resulting in non-significant differences in sapwood thermal conductivity between taxa and xylem porosity groups. Clustering of species sapwood characteristics based on taxa or xylem porosity could facilitate more accurate parameterizations of these attributes. When combined with an increasing number of sap flow observations, these findings can improve tree- and landscape-level transpiration estimates, leading to more robust partitioning of terrestrial water fluxes.

How to cite: Pappas, C., Bélanger, N., Bastien-Beaudet, G., Couture, C., D'Orangeville, L., Duchesne, L., Gennaretti, F., Houle, D., Hurley, A. G., Klesse, S., Lebel Desrosiers, S., Montoro Girona, M., Peters, R. L., Rossi, S., St-Amand, K., and Kneeshaw, D.: Xylem porosity shapes sapwood characteristics and stem water use of temperate and boreal tree species, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7603,, 2022.