Vascular architecture of the dendroid antipodean moss Dendroligotrichum dendroides (Brid. ex Hedw.) Broth. (Polytrichaceae)

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Abstract

In vascular plants, when tracheary elements do not participate in mechanical support, they tend to follow Murray's law. This means that the sum of the radii of the conduits to the third power (Σr3) is preserved across branching levels. Dendroligotrichum dendroides is a dendroid antipodean member of the Polytrichaceae growing in Chile and New Zealand, which reaches up to 60 cm in height and transports water internally. Its central hydrome of water-conducting cells has specific water conductances similar to vascular plants. We tested Murray's law, and analysed other parameters of the vascular architecture and anatomy of D. dendroides from Chile. The water-conducting hydrome of D. dendroides follows Murray's law, meaning that it is optimized for maximal water transport per unit of 'vascular' tissue biomass. There is also acropetal tapering and an increase in conduit number at ascending levels, similar to many vascular plants. Our results suggest that dendroid mosses like D. dendroides are subjected to similar biomechanical constrains in their 'vascular' design as tracheophytes and that similar selective pressures acted in the evolution of both vascular plants and bryophytes with conducting tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-280
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Bryology
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Dendroid mosses
  • Dendroligotrichum dendroides
  • Hydroids
  • Murray's law
  • Polytrichaceae
  • Vascular architecture

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