Convergent tip-to-base widening of water-conducting conduits in the tallest bryophytes

Erin Bok, Jordan Gregory, Timothy Brodribb & Marc Carriquí
Background: Tip-to-base conduit widening is considered a key mechanism that enables vascular plants to grow tall by decreasing the hydraulic resistance imposed by increasing height. Widening of hydraulic anatomy (larger conducting elements towards the base of the vascular system) minimizes gradients in leaf-specific hydraulic conductance with plant height, allowing uniform photosynthesis across the crown of trees. Tip-to-base conduit widening has also been associated with changes in conduit number. However, in bryophytes, despite having representatives with...
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