A colourful, deep-sea jellyfish? No, what you see here is the cross section of a vine. What is important here are the dots of various sizes. These are the plant’s water conduits: vessels through which water flows from the roots to the leaves. Some 15 per cent more water is transported through the narrowest vessels than had previously been calculated on the basis of conduit diameter alone. This is what comparisons of model calculations and in-vivo measurements by plant researchers from the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-2) and their colleagues from the USA revealed. The reason is that all vessels are interlinked in a complex network. This greatly affects the distribution of flow in the stem. According to the researchers, models need to take this into account.
Photo: Bouda et al, Nature Communications 2019 (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13673-6)