Paper of the Month November 2018

Embracing 3D complexity in leaf carbon–water exchange


Leaves are a nexus for the exchange of water, carbon, and energy between terrestrial plants and the atmosphere. Research in recent decades has highlighted the critical importance of the underlying biophysical and anatomical determinants of CO2 and H2O transport, but a quantitative understanding of how detailed 3D leaf anatomy mediates within-leaf transport has been hindered by the lack of a consensus framework for analyzing or simulating transport and
its spatial and temporal dynamics realistically, and by the difficulty of measuring within-leaf transport at the appropriate scales. We discuss how recent technological advancements now make a spatially explicit 3D leaf analysis possible, through new imaging and modeling tools that will allow us to address long-standing questions related to plant carbon–water exchange.

J. Mason Earles, Thomas N. Buckley, Craig R. Brodersen, Florian A. Busch, F. Javier Cano, Brendan Choat, John R. Evans, Graham D. Farquhar, Richard Harwood, Minh Huynh, Grace P. John, Megan L. Miller, Fulton E. Rockwell, Lawren Sack, Christine Scoffoni, Paul C. Struik, Alex Wu, Xinyou Yin, and Margaret M. Barbour (2018) Trends in Plant Science (online first)

Download the full paper here