Data from: Quantifying in situ phenotypic variability in the hydraulic properties of four tree species across their distribution range in Europe
Delzon, Sylvain et al. (2019), Data from: Quantifying in situ phenotypic variability in the hydraulic properties of four tree species across their distribution range in Europe, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b2pg468
Many studies have reported that hydraulic properties vary considerably between tree species, but little is known about their intraspecific variation and, therefore, their capacity to adapt to a warmer and drier climate. Here, we quantify phenotypic divergence and clinal variation for embolism resistance, hydraulic conductivity and branch growth, in four tree species, two angiosperms (Betula pendula, Populus tremula) and two conifers (Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris), across their latitudinal distribution in Europe. Growth and hydraulic efficiency varied widely within species and between populations. The variability of embolism resistance was in general weaker than that of growth and hydraulic efficiency, and very low for all species but Populus tremula. In addition, no and weak support for a safety vs. efficiency trade-off was observed for the angiosperm and conifer species, respectively. The limited variability of embolism resistance observed here for all species except Populus tremula, suggests that forest populations will unlikely be able to adapt hydraulically to drier conditions through the evolution of embolism resistance.