Is leaf pubescence of Cape Proteaceae a xeromorphic or radiation-protective trait?

Abstract

Although pubescence has traditionally been considered to be related to the water economy of plants, the results are ambivalent and vary between different species. We tested two contrasting hypotheses for the functional significance of leaf pubescence of Proteaceae species from the Cape Floristic Region. First, we hypothesised that pubescence is a xeromorphic trait that conserves water by increasing the boundary layer resistance to diffusion. Water loss was measured in two morphotypes of Leucospermum conocarpodendron (L.) Buek that differ in the degree of leaf pubescence, using both gas exchange and gravimetric techniques. Pubescence contributed less than 5% of total leaf resistance and pubescent leaves transpired at least as rapidly as glabrous leaves due to having larger numbers of small stomata per leaf area. Although pubescence was not associated with drier sites in L. conocarpodendron, there was a weak negative correlation between rainfall and pubescence across 18 other Proteaceae species. We also hypothesised that pubescence is a radiation-protective trait. We assessed the effect of pubescence on light reflectance, leaf temperature, fluorescence and gas exchange characteristics in situ. Pubescent leaves of L. conocarpodendron were 19.2 ± 0.08% more reflective than glabrous leaves and had significantly greater pre-dawn photochemical efficiency. There was a positive association between leaf pubescence and habitat temperature in Proteaceae. We conclude that although pubescence is unlikely to be a xeric adaptation, it could serve a role in reducing photoinhibition and heat loading in Proteaceae species.
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APA

P.</div>, < (2024). Is leaf pubescence of Cape Proteaceae a xeromorphic or radiation-protective trait?. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/is-leaf-pubescence-of-cape-proteaceae-a-xeromorphic-or-radiation-protective-trait

MLA 8th

P.</div>, <div>Skelton "Is leaf pubescence of Cape Proteaceae a xeromorphic or radiation-protective trait?" Afribary. Afribary, 04 Jun. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/is-leaf-pubescence-of-cape-proteaceae-a-xeromorphic-or-radiation-protective-trait. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

P.</div>, <div>Skelton . "Is leaf pubescence of Cape Proteaceae a xeromorphic or radiation-protective trait?". Afribary, Afribary, 04 Jun. 2024. Web. 25 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/is-leaf-pubescence-of-cape-proteaceae-a-xeromorphic-or-radiation-protective-trait >.

Chicago

P.</div>, <div>Skelton . "Is leaf pubescence of Cape Proteaceae a xeromorphic or radiation-protective trait?" Afribary (2024). Accessed July 25, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/is-leaf-pubescence-of-cape-proteaceae-a-xeromorphic-or-radiation-protective-trait