A Fatal Attack of the Bubbles

waterdrops518So begins a 5 May 2016 Science News article by Susan Milius highlighting a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) article by Timothy J. Brodribb and colleagues titled, “Revealing catastrophic failure of leaf networks under stress.” The PNAS article’s summary begins, “The intricate patterns of veins that adorn the leaves of land plants are among the most important networks in biology. Water flows in these leaf irrigation networks under tension and is vulnerable to embolism-forming cavitations, which cut off water supply, ultimately causing leaf death.” The study notes, “Drying soil leads to an increase in water tension, exposing plants to the problem of breakage of the water column, causing embolisms that cut off water supply, leading to tissue death during drought.”

About Gem

Writer, photographer, editor, wife, friend, sister, dog mother.
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