Xylem Vessel Length In Woody Plant

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A Global Analysis Of Xylem Vessel Length In Woody Plants is a research paper published in the American Journal of Botany. Dr. Anna L. Jacobsen led the research efforts along with support from Dr. Pratt, Dr. Tobin, Dr. Hacke, and Dr. Ewers. The aims of their research were to explain the physiological role that xylem vessel length have on a plant 's hydraulic architecture. To effectively explain the relationship, researchers focused on a couple of key questions. First, they wanted to determine if vessel length could be divergent among plants that have different in ecological characteristics. Second, was to determine what traits affect plant vessel length. Third, was to see if there was a relationship between plant vessel length and diameter and …show more content…
This is shown in Fig. 3 where the maximum vessel length increases with the mean vessel diameter of shrubs, lianas, and trees. Lastly, it was determined that the xylem vessel length was not phylogenetically conserved. This was determined through the use of a phylogenetic program. Fig. 5 shows the phylogenetic tree constructed to extrapolate their conclusion. Fig. 5 supports the conclusion by showing the wide differences within the plant length between relatively close families. If the vessel length were phylogenetically conserved wide difference between closely related plant families would not be present. Majority of the conclusions were supported by the data but there is an alternate conclusion available. It was concluded by the researchers that the plant habit did not affect the vessel length but interpretation of Fig. 4 does not point in that direction. Fig. 4 can be interpreted in such a way that a relationship with vessel length and habit can be established. The trees, lianas, and shrubs seem to have a higher vessel length in a temperate, tropical, and temperate climate respectively due to the increasing mean vessel length on the y-axis. This alternate interpretation goes against researchers conclusion of habit not having an effect on vessel …show more content…
Researchers successfully used prior published research within the field as a platform to being data collection. Efforts were also made to use the same techniques that the prior published data performed to determine the mean vessel length. This is turn had a strong positive effect on the precision of their experimental data and the data found in the prior research. They were able to make appropriate conclusions about the relationships of the vessel diameter and length through proper use of appropriate graphs and linear regression analysis. Although majority of the data supports the researchers interpretations, the usefulness of the results are in question. Researchers provided the importance hydraulic functions in respects to pathogenic movement throughout the plant but did not supply any further intensive, innovative knowledge on how their research can be applied or whom it helps. Each question for this experiment successfully was addressed.
Shortcomings in experimental results format and explanation hampered understanding of their data. Figure 2 and Figure 3 did not label the x-axis on one of their graphs. It is understood that the graphs were closely related, however, each graph should be formatted with an x-axis and should not leave the reader to assume the x/y-axis format. To further improve this experiment the data gained must provide pertinent information on the hydraulic functions. The data must show and it must be explained

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