Tree water use, bushfires, and the implications for urban and rural water supplies
Society relies on mathematical descriptions of climate change, weather forecasting, crop performance, and other processes in which the control of carbon uptake and water loss by plants forms a basic element. Scientists also use the same element in ascribing sources and sinks of carbon dioxide (CO2), describing vegetation, hydrological and ecological processes. A key physiological assumption in this element is now in doubt and we will test it rigorously and if necessary provide a robust alternative. We will do this by developing a novel 'window' on intact leaf functioning that will reveal the concentration of water vapour and other gases inside leaves.