Mechanical response of trees to drought
May 23rd, 2016
Recent works  have shown that leaf wilting can locally prevent trees from cavitation during drought periods. These results were obtained through a “big leaf” model coupling the leaf thermodynamics with the petiole mechanical behavior and xylem hydrodynamics. In this talk I will present recent results of this model applied to complex branched structures mimicking real tree architectures. Based on spatial averaging techniques, I will focus on the impact of local wilting and cavitation events on the global response of a tree to drought.
 Gonzalez-Rodriguez D., Cournède P.H., de Langre E., “Turgidity-dependent petiole flexibility enables efficient water use by a tree subjected to water stress,” J. Theor Biol., 398: 20-31, (2016)