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Data from: Angiosperm wood structure: global patterns in vessel anatomy and their relationship to wood density and potential conductivity

posted on 2022-06-11, 04:22 authored by Amy E. Zanne, Mark Westoby, Daniel S. Falster, David D. Ackerly, Scott R Loarie, Sarah E. J. Arnold, David A. Coomes
Woody stems comprise a large biological carbon fraction and determine water transport between roots and leaves; their structure and function can influence both carbon and hydrological cycles. While angiosperm wood anatomy and density determine hydraulic conductivity and mechanical strength, little is known about interrelations across many species. We compiled a global dataset comprising two anatomical traits for 3005 woody angiosperms: mean vessel lumen area ( ) and number per unit area (N). From these, we calculated vessel lumen fraction (F = N) and size/number ratio (S = /N), a new vessel composition index. We examined extent to which F and S influenced potential sapwood specific stem conductivity (KS) and wood density (D; dry mass/fresh volume). F and S varied essentially independently across angiosperms. Variation in KS was driven primarily by S, and variation in D was virtually unrelated to F and S. Tissue density outside vessel lumens (DN) must predominantly influence D. High S should confer faster Ks but incur greater freeze-thaw embolism risk. F should also affect KS, and both F and DN should influence mechanical strength, capacitance, and construction costs. Improved theory and quantification are needed to better understand ecological costs and benefits of these three distinct dimensions.

Usage Notes

GlobalVesselAnatomyDatabase.xlsThe database is a literature compilation of angiosperms vessel anatomy measures for species distributed around the world. The first worksheet defines the data use policy. The second worksheet contains the data with column headings of family, binomial, average individual vessel size (A), vessel number (N), vessel composition (S = A/N), and vessel lumen fraction (F = AN), as well as log transformed values of these 4 variables. The third worksheet contains references for these data.


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