Standardization and validation of leaf wetness traits

Leaf wetness traits have often been used to describe ecophysiological and ecohydrological processes. However, the effect of droplet size when measuring these traits and their use as proxies for processes such as leaf water uptake have rarely been evaluated.

Leaf water retention
Leaf water retention (LWR) for each water droplet volume (5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 μL) for the 14 species analysed, seven from the Atlantic rain forest (Parque Nacional da Floresta da Tijuca) and seven from the high-altitude grassland (Parque Nacional de Itatiaia), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Each line represents one species, and the crossing of lines indicates changes in species ranking. For full details see Matos and Rosado (2016).

Matos and Rosado explored these missing links and found the water droplet volume does matter when measuring leaf wetness traits. Leaf wetness traits were not related to leaf water uptake. They concluded that the standardization of droplet volumes and the validation of leaf wetness traits are necessary before using them to infer ecophysiological processes.

Further reading

Ilaíne S. Matos, Bruno H. P. Rosado, 2016, 'Retain or repel? Droplet volume does matter when measuring leaf wetness traits', Annals of Botany, vol. 117, no. 6, pp. 1045-1052