Forest & Wood Sciences

A new mechanism for tree mortality due to drought and heatwaves

10.24072/pcjournal.45 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article no. e36.

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Plants tend to die earlier in hot and drought conditions, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet understood. I propose here a new mechanism by which excessive residual water losses caused by high cuticular permeabilities and a high leaf-to-air vapor pressure deficits would trigger uncontrolled and sudden cavitation events. The combination of heat and drought stresses may therefore lead to an unsuspected risk of hydraulic failure. I explored this hypothesis with a new mechanistic model. The simulations support this hypothesis and highlight the critical role played by the cuticle phase transition temperature. Experiments are now awaited to confirm these predictions.
Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.45
Cochard, Hervé 1

1 Université Clermont-Auvergne, INRAE, PIAF, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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Cochard, Hervé. A new mechanism for tree mortality due to drought and heatwaves. Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article  no. e36. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.45.

Peer reviewed and recommended by PCI : 10.24072/pci.forestwoodsci.100002

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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