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  Scaling of phloem structure and optimality of photoassimilate transport in conifer needles

Ronellenfitsch, H., Liesche, J., Jensen, K. H., Holbrook, N. M., Schulz, A., & Katifori, E. (2015). Scaling of phloem structure and optimality of photoassimilate transport in conifer needles. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1801): 20141863. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.1863.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-588E-8 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-588F-6
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Ronellenfitsch, Henrik1, Author              
Liesche, Johannes, Author
Jensen, Kaare H., Author
Holbrook, N. Michele, Author
Schulz, Alexander, Author
Katifori, Eleni1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Physics of Biological Organization, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063293              

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 Abstract: The phloem vascular system facilitates transport of energy-rich sugar and signalling molecules in plants, thus permitting long-range communication within the organism and growth of non-photosynthesizing organs such as roots and fruits. The flow is driven by osmotic pressure, generated by differences in sugar concentration between distal parts of the plant. The phloem is an intricate distribution system, and many questions about its regulation and structural diversity remain unanswered. Here, we investigate the phloem structure in the simplest possible geometry: a linear leaf, found, for example, in the needles of conifer trees. We measure the phloem structure in four tree species representing a diverse set of habitats and needle sizes, from 1 (Picea omorika) to 35 cm (Pinus palustris). We show that the phloem shares common traits across these four species and find that the size of its conductive elements obeys a power law. We present a minimal model that accounts for these common traits and takes into account the transport strategy and natural constraints. This minimal model predicts a power law phloem distribution consistent with transport energy minimization, suggesting that energetics are more important than translocation speed at the leaf level.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-02-22
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1863
 Degree: -

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Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Royal Society
Pages: 7 Volume / Issue: 282 (1801) Sequence Number: 20141863 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0962-8452
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/110975500577295_2