Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

An overview of the hydraulic systems in early land plants

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of IAWA Journal

One of the key functions of wood is hydraulic conductivity, and the general physical properties controlling this are well characterized in living plants. Modern species capture only a fraction of the known diversity of wood, which is well preserved in a fossil record that extends back over 400 million years to the origin of the vascular plants. Early fossil woods are known to differ in many key respects from woods of modern gymnosperms (e.g., tracheid size, secondary wall thickenings, lignin chemistry, cambium development) and recent discoveries are shedding new light on the earliest stages of wood evolution, raising questions about the performance of these systems and their functions. We provide an overview of the early fossil record focusing on tracheid morphology in the earliest primary and secondary xylem and on cambial development. The fossil record clearly shows that wood evolved in small stature plants prior to the evolution of a distinctive leaf-stem-root organography. The hydraulic properties of fossil woods cannot be measured directly, but with the development of mathematical models it is becoming increasingly feasible to make inferences and quantify performance, enabling comparison with modern woods. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of hydraulic conductance to quantify is the resistance of pits and other highly distinctive and unique secondary wall features in the earliest tracheids. New analytical methods, in particular X-ray synchrotron microtomography (PPC-SRμCT), open up the possibility of creating dynamic, three-dimensional models of permineralized woods facilitating the analysis of hydraulic and biomechanical properties.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom; 2: INRA, UMR547 PIAF, 63100 Clermont-Ferrand, France; Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, UMR547 PIAF, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France; 3: European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, 6 rue Jules Horowitz, 38043 Grenoble cedex, France


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    IAWA Journal — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation