Wood anatomy and conductivity in lianas, shrubs and trees of Bignoniaceae.
Gerolamo, C. S., & Angyalossy, V.
This work compares potential xylem hydraulic efficiency among Bignoniaceae lianas, shrubs and trees. Five species from each growth habit were analysed to determine variance among habits based on quantitative and qualitative wood anatomical features. Potential hydraulic conductivity was calculated for each species in order to compare efficiency of water transport. Cambial variants are present in the Bignonieae tribe, as phloem wedges in lianas and phloem arcs in shrubs. Lianas present vessel dimorphism, quantitatively evidenced by the ratio of maximum by minimum vessel diameter of about 20, higher percentage of vessel area and lower percentage of fibres compared with the self-supporting species studied here. Potential hydraulic conductivity is higher in lianas due to the presence of wider vessels and it is hypothesised that the narrow vessels can function as back-up for water conduction when wider vessels are cavitated.